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The United States State Department and American multinational companies have been pushing for the release of genetically engineered food into the New Zealand environment at a biotechnology conference being held in Rotorua this week, the Green Party said today.
The ABIC 2012 conference being held in Rotorua is dubbed the 'World Cup' of biotechnology and has seen a huge push from vested interests for GE release into the environment despite public opposition to such a move.
"The primary benefactors of Genetic Engineering (GE) are US corporate interests not New Zealand farmers," Green Party primary production spokesperson Steffan Browning said.
"The GE focused ABIC 2012 conference in Rotorua this week, is clearly part of a strong push towards GE farming in Aotearoa New Zealand by large multinational companies and Washington.
"The US State Department presence at the Rotorua conference shows that pushing GE is part of US foreign policy as much as it is in the interests of big corporates like DuPont and Monsanto.
"Consumers around the world don't want a bar of GE and if New Zealand wants to continue reaping the benefits of exporting high value-added produce, we need to steer clear.
"GE will not enable more exports - it risks locking our produce out of markets and tarnishing our clean green brand. GE is not smart, green economics.
"We can add more value to our agricultural exports by leveraging our clean, safe, 100% Pure brand.
"Instead of putting our whole agriculture sector at risk we need to be investing in clean green technology to create jobs.
"Far more jobs could be created by developing our own high value-added foods than can be made selling the products of Monsanto," Mr Browning said.
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