GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 4th September 2003

Garlic industry crushed.

Vegfed and the Fruitgrower Associations have been shaken over the release of the latest NZ Trade and Enterprise report, which concludes that China has crushed New Zealands garlic trade over the last five years. The report also suggests it could go on to be a serious rival to New Zealand's fruit and vegetable exports in three to four years.

Last weeks fiasco over "Corngate" illustrates the dangers of contamination of agricultural products by genetic engineering, the Government must protect food integrity, and in doing so it will automatically ensure a buoyant economy. The agricultural sector is starting to experience a downturn and introducing GE will only help to depress farm returns further.

GE Free New Zealand in Food and Environment want to see New Zealand agriculture continue to produce sustainable and natural produce. This requires New Zealand to stay GE Free and government to stop both GE trials and releases as well as banning the importation of seed from countries growing GE products.

"It is important to protect our advantages particularly when farmers have struggled many years to gain them. Why would we want to endanger our quality market?". said Claire Bleakley. "GE-Free (NZ) in food and environment" can be a very lucrative branding label for the export of New Zealand produce. "

Contact Claire Bleakley(06) 3089842

Trade and Enterprise report for VegFed and the Fruit Growers Federation. "Is China a threat or opportunity for New Zealand horticulture?"

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