The New Zealand Kiwi Fruit industry has led the way in positioning itself internationally as 'GM-free' and developing successful new varieties like the golden kiwi. It must keep it that way.
HortResearch and biotech company Genesis Research and Development Corporation have uncovered the DNA behind the fruit's colour.
It is vital that such research is applied ethically but not used to release GE-fruit which will damage New Zealand's clean, green, natural brand image.
"The benefits of staying GE-free are clear as markets overseas and consumers at home seek safe, sustainably produced and clean food, " says Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
"It is vital to the economy that our biotechnology strategy encompasses the values captured in the Brand New Zealand image. For food production this includes more natural, low-pesticide,organic, ethical and clean production."
The dairy industry is also under threat, despite it success, because of promotion of feed-lots and maize for cows to replace grass-only feeding.
Add this to issues like price and poluted rivers and it grows to become a threat to the 'green' image that Fonterra use to promote Anchor butter in Europe and which our tourism and exports rely on.
GE-Free NZ is calling on the Kiwi fruit industry to re-commit to these values.
Studying DNA does not mean you need to go GE, and the Kiwi industry has proved that.The industy must ensure their future is protected and that "kiwi fruit" stay natural - whatever their colour.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Multi coloured kiwifruit
GE Free New Zealand is welcoming the genetic breakthrough that will soon see kiwifruit grown in a multitude of colours and flavours.
HortResearch and the listed biotech company Genesis Research and Development Corporation have uncovered the DNA behind the fruits colour. GE Free New Zealand spokesman Jon Carapiet says the kiwifruit Industry has rejected genetic engineering and are using natural breeding techniques to create new varieties. He says what the markets around the world are saying, do not give us genetically engineered food, but do use gene knowledge.Developments from research identifying genes can help ethical non-GE breeding techniques