GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 29th  March 2004

"Iowa's "pharma crop" could decimate New Zealand's exports

The announcement that Iowa biotech interests want to use New Zealand to grow pharmaceutical crops is a step in the wrong direction. If ever brought to reality the proposal could decimate New Zealand's reputation as a source of safe food and create irreversible environmental damage.

Pharm crops have already created problems overseas with contamination of food resulting in authorities ordering their destruction; and concerned scientists recommending a moratorium on their growing. Serious lapses in regulation have also allowed GE animals, used to create pharmaceuticals, to enter the food chain.

"The idea of New Zealand becoming a playground for these experiments is absolutely the worst possible outcome from the government's decision to lift the GE moratorium," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

'Pharming' outside of the lab using food crops or farm animals is a disaster in the making for New Zealand.

Pharm crops should be banned to protect human health, the safety of the food supply, the environment and our exports. Unfortunately the government is moving in the opposite direction by promoting a new phase of the New Zealand "experiment".

Contact Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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