GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 27th September 2003

More proof that Government must legislate to preserve GE free production

The government will be betraying the national interest and undermining New Zealand's future economic wellbeing unless legislation is passed to preserve GE-free production systems.

The New Zealand government has been conspicuous in ceasing to mention the Royal Commission on GM's proposal for policy to "preserve opportunities" and is now only pushing "move forward cautiously".

But it is vital that "moving forward" does not become a code-word for accepting contamination of the nation's food-production system and primary industry. 

"The government must legislate to ensure a policy of protecting GE-free production is in place under law and not at the whim of ERMA - its so-called environmental watchdog," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"The public have lost trust in ERMA and its processes and only legislation that requires ERMA to protect our future will change that." 

Just this week three more international studies confirmed how vital it is that the government commit to preserving GE-free systems of food production.

The findings of the UK public consultation process on GE, a report from Otago University's Business School, and a review of scientific evidence by Dr Peter Wills from Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics all back the need for preserving GE-free systems in New Zealand.

"The government must commit to preserving GE-Free production as part of their policy, and back it with proper legislation.

"As yet they have refused to make such a commitment. Until they do so, the alarm amongst the public and the concerns of major New Zealand businesses including Zespri, Sanitarium, and Wattie's, will only increase."

Contact: Jon Carapiet- 09 815 3370

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