GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 02nd March 2005

Minister Misleading Parliament over Terminator Support

Government Minister Marian Hobbs has lost her moral compass and may have deliberately misled Parliament in defending her support for Terminator GURTS during 'question time' on Wednesday. The minister claimed that "many countries from around the world had" , like New Zealand, - supported Canada's plan to destabilise a de facto moratorium on GURTS ( Genetic Use Restriction Technologies) at a recent UN meeting in Bangkok.

However reports from the conference revealed that only Australia and New Zealand stood up to support Canada in its plan. "Who are the countries she is referring to? This seems to be either deliberately misleading or it is based on secret inside information that she should share with the rest of the world community,' says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

Worse is the fact that the Minister and the Labour-led government are ignoring the ethical and moral issues behind the international de facto moratorium.
It is clear that the government is hiding behind claims of " scientific interest" to compensate for their lack of a moral and ethical foundation for this policy.
It is hypocrisy for this government to crow about the 'moral cause' of nuclear disarmament as Marian Hobbs did when asked to comment on the anniversary of the Lange debate at Oxford.

"The Minister and her advisors have lost their moral compass if they cannot see the ethical reasons for an international ban on Monsanto's patented Terminator system,' says Jon Carapiet. "Even on a 'case by case' basis it is clear that the Monsanto system has nothing to offer environmental protection and merely fulfils a cynical plan for control of patents," he says. This is an ethical and moral issue that the government must answer clearly: New Zealand must support an international Ban on Monsanto's Terminator system.

Moral failure to support the developing world now may mean New Zealand becomes complicit in the creation of a fundamentally unjust regime resulting in growing international civil unrest in the years ahead.

Jon Carapiet 0210 507 681

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