GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 2nd  June 2004

"Double Standards" in Government's Acceptance of Corngate Payout

The government is showing double-standards in accepting payment from TV3 for the 'Corngate' broadcast and should return the money. The payment to the Crown follows confirmation of a decision by Broadcasting Standards Authority decision. 

Just months ago the Broadcasting Standards Authority similarly upheld a complaint and found against TV1 despite the broadcaster's defence that the decision meant the government Minister involved was misleading the New Zealand public. "The money being paid to the Crown should be returned as a gesture of reconciliation with TV3, and they should all move on," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment. 

"There is a degree of hypocrisy in the government accepting money from TV3 on the one hand, but seeming to benefit from a misleading broadcast when it suits them." The earlier decision by the BSA found an interview featuring the Minister of the Environment - also about GE- had itself been unfair and misleading. 

The interview by Paul Holmes went to air only days before the lapse of the moratorium on applications for GM release. Like the pre-election Corngate broadcast the interview came at a crucial time politically. Arguing against the decision TV1 said the Minster had backed up the broadcasters statements and would therefore also have been guilty of misleading the New Zealand public. 

Despite TV1's claim, the BSA upheld the complaint against them in a landmark decision though it did not fine either the TV station, or the Minister for the breach of standards. 

Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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