GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 24th  March 2004

NZ risks squandering opportunity of the century. Western Australia's Ban on GM crops a lesson for New Zealand

New Zealand should follow Western Australia's decision to declare a GM-free zone in order to secure the marketing opportunity of the century.

Premier Geoff Gallop said the state would be declared a GM-free area in order to protect its “clean and green” reputation, Dow Jones News reported.

New Zealand is uniquely placed to gain maximum benefit from supplying guaranteed GM-free produce and a truly clean-green image for tourism and marketing.

“This opportunity is threatened by the government’s refusal to restore the moratorium on GE commercial release,” says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

“We are being left behind while other states- like Western Australia- wake up to the disaster that GE crops have been overseas and take action to protect their national interests,” he says.

New Zealand should be a GE-free zone with respect to commercial releases - and local Councils must demand this protection if central government continue to ignore their responsibilities.

“Local nuclear-free zones were the stepping stones to New Zealand declaring ourselves Nuclear free. Many regions – and even individual are now registering as GE-free Zones,” says Mr Carapiet.

“New Zealand must not squander the opportunity of the century by allowing GE contamination of our production systems, which is certain to result from commercial GE use.”

Contact- Jon Carapiet 09 812 3370

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AUSTRALIA: Western Australia bans commercial growing of GM crops 23 Mar 2004 Source: just-food.com

Western Australia has become the first Australian state to ban the commercial growing of genetically modified crops.

Premier Geoff Gallop said the state would be declared a GM-free area in order to protect its “clean and green” reputation, Dow Jones News reported.

"The cautious approach was also reflective of overwhelming public opinion in W.A. and consumer sentiment around the world," Gallop was quoted as saying.

Gallop said his government’s pre-election promises included a five-year moratorium on the commercial growing of GM food crops. 
"During the past three years, public opinion in W.A. has further strengthened against the intrusion of GM technology into the food chain," he said.

The ban only includes growing GM crops for commercial uses, and therefore small field trials will still be permitted. 

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