26/11/2014

US Warning against GMO threat

 

An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that GE-Free NZ spoke to last week.

The warning has been made in an 'open letter from America', signed by scientists, agricultural experts and community groups. It urges Europe and the UK to learn from the experience in America, and keep GMOs out of their agricultural systems. [1]

"New Zealand must heed warnings about problems caused by GE crops in the US, and restore the moratorium on commercial release of GMOs. This is a wake up call to the international community which New Zealand producers must hear," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ.

"We must secure our GE-free status to protect our reputation for clean, safe food.”

The open letter says that the US signatories are
"Sharing our experience and what we have learned...so that you don't make our mistakes… We strongly urge you to resist the approval of genetically modified crops, to refuse to plant those crops that have been approved, to reject the import and/or sale of GM-containing animal feeds and foods intended for human consumption, and to speak out against the corporate influence over politics, regulation and science."

The open letter goes on to say that GE is regarded as failing technology that the UK and the rest of the EU have yet to adopt in the way that the US have. It warns of tremendous pressure from governments, biotech lobbyists, and large corporations to push what it calls this 'failing agricultural technology'.

In spite of a massive public mandate, efforts to get federal and state governments to better regulate and label GMOs are being undermined by large biotech and food corporations, with unlimited budgets and undue influence.

Polls show that 72% of Americans who do not want to eat GM foods and over 90% of Americans believe GM foods should be labeled. The US experience with GE crops has been one of increased chemical use, loss of farmer choice for non-GE seeds, the development of super weeds and lost exports as a result of food contamination.

“Surveys consistently show that a majority of New Zealanders also do not want to eat or grow GMOs, and that loopholes in the current labelling laws make those laws a farce," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-free NZ.

“There is clearly a huge benefit to New Zealand in upholding the "Freeze on GMO" petition's call to restore the moratorium on GE release. It is vital to secure our food chain by ensuring our GE-free status and proper safety testing on genetically engineered foods. The demand from our major consumers is for GE-free food."

References:
[1] Living With GMOs - Letter From America
http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15756-living-with-gmos-le
http://www.theletterfromamerica.org/
ENDS
Jon Carapiet - spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731

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