31/07/2008

Zespri Staying GE-Free.

 

Zespri are keeping Kiwi fruit 'GE free' and say that new DNA research will be used ethically to enhance traditional breeding without genetically engineering New Zealand's iconic fruit.

Bryan Parkes, Innovation Leader for New Products at ZESPRI says the industry has a significant program in new variety development using natural breeding, not genetic engineering.

"No GM technology is used. The use of gene markers does not involve any genetic modification and only makes the screening of the seedlings produced by pollination and germination more efficient," he says.

"Industry support for GE-free agriculture is vital and fits with New Zealand's clean, green , natural image that is vital to the economy," says Jon Carapiet from GE-free NZ in food and environment.

Dairy industry giant Fonterra, and organisations like Crop and Food Research will harm New Zealand's international reputation with consumers if they push GE production.

"The reputation of Brand New Zealand is worth billions and must not be undermined by the release of GE crops or food products."

Zespri are showing the way for other New Zealand industries by using genetic science in a way which is ethical and harmonises with consumer values around the world.

Zespri 'get it'; they understand the consumer demand for clean, natural foods produced in a way Prince Charles once described as working 'with the grain of nature', not against it.

ENDS

Jon Carapiet 0210507681

Reference

Bryan Parkes, Innovation Leader

correspondence www.zespri.com 07 572 7662

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