GE Free NZ, 6th June  2003

Scientists back Rural Women's stance on GE moratorium

Scientists and medical professionals concerned about the impact of GE release on New Zealand have come out in support of the stance adopted by Rural Women's for the moratorium on applications for GE release to be extended.

GE Free NZ in food and environment are welcoming the scientists' support for the Precautionary Principle, and believe the government's policy to release GE runs counter to the scientific and economic evidence, as well as the public interest.

"The government's policy is not founded on peer-reviewed science as they claim, but is mostly reliant on biotech-industry claims and promises," says Jon Carapiet, form GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

GE Free NZ in food and environment have challenged the Life Sciences Network to publicise research they have claimed proves the risk, from Horizontal Gene Transfer in current transgenic animal field trials, has been shown to be negligible.

Until this research is presented and peer reviewed, the Life Science Network's claims remain PR spin rather than good science. Unfortunately, the government appears to have been taken in by such spin.

ERMA have so far neglected to conduct any testing on soil around the trial site to investigate the issue of HGT.

Contact Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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Press Release from PSRG - Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics
Friday, 6 June 2003, 8.45 a.m. 
PSRG has no affiliations with industry or any political party.
Enquiries to 64 7 576 5721 or

Remit from Rural Women

PSRG support the remit passed by Rural Women opposing the removal of the moratorium on genetic engineering in October.

PSRG is also concerned about the sustainability of rural communities, economically and environmentally. Genetic engineering biotechnology has major implications in these areas.

There is strong consumer rejection of genetically engineered foods by overseas markets, and those markets have given a clear indication that commercial release of transgenic crops would significantly damage the New Zealand �clean green� image and undermine our existing assets. 

Experience has shown that keeping transgenic crops separate from non-GE varieties is impossible. Contamination will occur. This would significantly affect the incomes of farming families that have not adopted GE agriculture.

Keeping our agriculture and environment free of transgenic releases would not affect the advancement or benefits of GE medical research. PSRG strongly advocates keeping genetic engineering experimentation in the laboratory.

Releasing genetically engineered organisms into the environment will put at risk current export returns from conventional agriculture and horticulture because of the certainty of irreversible contamination of other like plants and soil.

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