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Greens: Greens Tighten GE Safeguards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jeantte-Fitzsimons.jpg
Jeantte-Fitzsimons.jpg

31 July 2008 - As part of its co-operation agreement with the Government, the Green Party has negotiated new safeguards to protect all those who want no part of any genetically-engineered farming industry.

"We remain strongly opposed to GE organisms in our fields and our food and haven't given an inch on that staunch stand," Ms Fitzsimons says. "However if at some future date National and Labour use their powers to try to force New Zealand to accept general release of GE crops, at least there'll be more rights and information for neighbours and for those who question GE."

Ms Fitzsimons said a public consultation process starting now was only a few weeks long so some changes could be made before the election. She urged people - and especially growers who cared about being GE-free - to take part. Details are about to go on the Environmental Risk Management Authority's website www.ermanz.govt.nz

"These draft safeguards have been hard-won after a long and difficult debate with various Ministers, and I want to pay tribute to Environment Minister Trevor Mallard for ensuring we made progress," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Of course all this is a far cry from what the Green Party would like to see eventually; a totally GE-free food industry in New Zealand and promotion overseas of our clean and green GE status as a major marketing advantage. With only six MPs we haven't yet been able to achieve that.

"But pressure from the Greens and from consumers has so far prevented a GE farming industry from establishing here and polluting other crops. Let's hope that continues."

The Government Co-operation Agreement with the Green Party states, "During this term of Parliament work will be undertaken to increase the certainty around the ability of non-GM producers to maintain GM free production and be able to identify their products as such to meet market access requirements".

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