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Govt undermining brand New Zealand on GE - Green Party

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Regions are stepping up to protect our ‘100% Pure’ branding in the absence of a clear direction from central government over issues like genetic engineering (GE), the Green Party said today.

A Colmar-Brunton survey of one thousand New Zealanders found that 79 percent want local councils to decide where and whether genetically modified crops can be grown in their region. The National Government is proposing changes to the Resource Management Act to take away the rights of regions to protect their agricultural sector from GE.

"The survey commissioned by Pure Hawkes Bay highlights the popularity of being GE free but also shows how strongly some regions want to protect our ‘100% Pure’ brand," said Green Party genetic engineering spokesperson Steffan Browning.

"Regions like Hastings, Whangarei, the Far North, and Auckland City are trying to protect New Zealand’s valuable clean, green brand in the absence of strong leadership from the National Government.

"National thinks it can have it both ways - being ‘100% Pure’ while also doing all those activities that undermine our clean, green brand, like GE, intensive dairying, and rising carbon emissions.

"The Green Party supports a cohesive, country-wide approach to securing our "100% Pure" brand supported with a strong liability regime that would protect growers from GE contamination events.

"Staying GE free is a golden opportunity in a world demanding safe, clean food," Mr Browning said.

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