"Clean and Green" No More?

New Zealand debates whether to drop its moratorium on genetically engineered crops

| October 2003

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND -- New Zealand is presently doing a slow death march towards open-field release of genetically engineered farm crops, dictated by a government that has relentlessly ignored every reasoned argument for retaining this country's totally GE-free status. With all the subtlety of a rubbish compactor, a government made up of Christian fundamentalists and the tattered remnants of the Lange/Douglas regime that turned this country into an economic basket case in the '80s, is forging ahead with legislation that will pave the way for the end of the present New Zealand-wide moratorium on GE crops on October 29.

It seems an absurd move to make at the present time for a nation which destroyed its local industrial base with market forces ideology in the 80s and is now almost totally dependent for its overseas earnings on the export of conventional or organic agricultural products to Northern Hemisphere markets which not only demand GE-free produce, but have already warned New Zealand that GE contamination of any sort is unacceptable.