GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 31st July  2003

Prince Charles joins GE-Free campaign

The declaration by Prince Charles that Britain should remain GE-Free is welcome news to the 80% of New Zealanders who want the preservation of GE-Fre food production in this country.

"The Life Sciences Network have so far dismissed the views of the majority of New Zealanders, scientists like David Bellamy, chefs, and leaders in the New Zealand food industry," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

" But we warn them against further attempts to marginalise the public, especially when Prince Charles is voicing the same concerns as former UK environment Minister Michael Meacher that contamination as a result of GE release will destroy organics and GE-Free production"

We repeat the call on the Labour government from last weeks national conference: The protection of GE-free production must be enshrined in law.

" Until that protection of "future opportunities" is in place, the moratorium on applications for GE release must continue."  "If it is becoming clear that even the UK can benefit from a GE-free future, surely New Zealand must also be protected and this opportunity preserved for future generations."

GENETICALLY-MODIFIED crops should be banned in Britain, the Prince of Wales told The Western Mail yesterday.

Speaking as he officially opened the Western Mail and Echo's new GB 18 million pound press in Cardiff Bay, the Prince said, "We need a GM-free Wales - and a GM-free Britain as well, for that matter."

And he dismissed the merits of a claim that moves to ban so-called "Frankenstein foods", in Wales alone, were illegal. 

The World Trade Organisation is threatening legal action against the European Union over its refusal to allow imports of unlabelled GM produce from America.

The claims of illegality come from the European Commission, and were repeated by EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler at last week's Royal Welsh Show.

The Prince's reaction, as he fuelled the debate on GM crops, was blunt: "It's ridiculous," he said.

Prince Charles took his dislike of GM crops to the ultimate level yesterday as he called for the British ban. He has frequently expressed strong views on the issue.

2.Organic vs GM crops is 'stark choice'

Former environment minister Michael Meacher says evidence of "massive" cross-contamination shows the UK must make a stark choice between growing organic or genetically-modified crops.

Speaking on a tour of Canada, where organic farmers are suing biotech giants for spoiling their produce by preventing them calling it GM-free, he said the two types of cultivation could not exist side by side.

"The problem is massive. I have spent the whole day seeing several farms and several examples where there has been very extensive contamination, particularly of oil seed rape," he has told the BBC.

"The fact is that it goes everywhere. There is no question that there can be a short separation distance - that is clearly not the case."

"The buzz word in Britain is that we can have 'co-existence' between the GM sector and the organic or conventional sector. What Canada shows, who have been trying to do this for the last seven years, is that it is absolutely impossible."

"You have to make a choice, and the choice frankly is: are we going to go for GM, for which there is no market and no-one wants to buy at the expense of organic, which people do want to buy and for which there is a tremendous market?

"You cannot have both."

He said the oil seed rape blew in the wind over "considerable distances"

Back to Press Release Directory