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New Zealand needs dairy industry leaders to halt importation of GMO cattle-feed and move to secure and support our global market reputation for safe food.
There is a major threat to the reputation of New Zealand as a whole, from the dairy industry degrading the system with GE feed.
Eroding the integrity of the dairy food chain with GE soy, GE corn and GE cotton is a destroyer of Value. It is a betrayal of consumer Trust.
It destroys the confidence, trust and sense of security provided by natural grass-fed animals to consumers around the world, especially European markets.
There is a sense of wanting to keep farmers in the dark suggested by comments from Federated Farmer's Willy Leferink, who said: “As these products are not for human consumption or for sowing as crops, they are not required to be labelled if they contain GM ingredients”.
Fonterra has also been duplicitous in it's statements to media (2). In March 2011 Jeremy Hill, Fonterra's group director of technology told the New Zealand Herald "We continually strive to minimise unintentional traces of GE content,” but did not comment on the use of GE in animal feed.
“It's a sell-out of our world-class image. The perpetrators owe it to the whole country to stop,” says Jon Carapiet from GE Free New Zealand in food and environment.
“The lack of transparency by large importers like Monsanto/ Cargill has placed farmers in an extremely compromised situation. International markets receiving their products believe they are GE-free, natural, and grass-fed.”
The damage accruing to New Zealand's dairy industry from use of GE feed may be slow and uninsurable for farmers, because of the insurance industry refusing cover.
“For New Zealand to sell its produce to the world we need businesses to act with authenticity and protect our GE Free status,” says Jon Carapiet.
“Those involved have cast doubt on our global reputation for food safety. Doubt is exactly what you don't want when it comes to building New Zealand's position in the world market.”