11/11/2008

Government Must not weaken G.E. Rules that Protect New Zealand

 

The Incoming Government must not weaken the rigourous laws around genetically engineered organsims (GMO's) that protect New Zealand’s status as a GE Free nation.

With the advent of new governments in the US and New Zealand there appears to be mounting pressure to commercialise GE animals and crops. Any discussions over commercialisation of GE that threaten our GE-Free reputation and future production must be made public and transparent and involve the whole country.

John Key has committed himself to building the New Zealand brand and that must focus on safe, sustainable and ethically produced quality products the world wants.

The cruel use of transgenic animals and commercialisation of GE crops cannot be part of that economy. The values many cultures within New Zealand share must not be put at risk and the‘Kiwi’ reputation must not be undermined.

Transgenic animals suffer markedly from low birth rates, deformities and ill health, and will damage our reputation around the world. New Zealand is being targeted by overseas investors for farming of GE animals as bio factories for the potential production of products that are already safely made through conventional means.

“The use of transgenic animals pushes New Zealand to the brink, and only leads to more animal suffering and a total abdication of animal rights,” said Claire Bleakley from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

Many of the products that are being identified for genetic engineering are a direct result of the last century of chemical pollution and degradation of the food supply. But no amount of transgenic product will address the damage and the best solution is to remove the cause.

The commercial risk to our international reputation is significant. ACT and National must end ‘socialised risk’ and instead put liability on commercial organisations using GE animals and crops that damage the New Zealand brand.

“With millions of US consumers keen to buy GE-free produce from New Zealand let's not try and force through a failed technology to the detriment of our animals environment and economy. Let’s look at what has brought us here over the millennia and advance sustainable non transgenic methods of agricultural commerce and production” she said.

ENDS

Claire Bleakley 06-3089842 / 0273486731

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