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NZ needs GE-free push in meat and biotech

GE Free New Zealand says the NZ government needs to urgently develop an ethical and sustainable biotechnology strategy to fit its brand.

It said the end of animal cloning at AgResearch is the first step towards to developing the global market for New Zealand meat, wool and dairy exports as ethical and sustainable.

It added the decision doesn't go far enough and will likely allow unethical animal experiments to continue behind closed doors.

Farmers and exporters should support a wider ban on AgResearch's continuing plans for genetic engineering of animals and other forms of cloning, not least to reassure global markets about what "Made in New Zealand" represents, GE Free NZ said in a press release.

"Consumers overseas have been outraged that the US authorities have allowed meat from cloned animals into the food chain without any additional safety testing, monitoring, or labelling. In the UK products from cloned animals made headlines after they also leaked into the human food chain," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ.

The future advantage for primary producers is in meeting the demand for clone-free produce as a support for our clean, green, GE-Free, nuclear free, sustainable and ethical reputation.

Those responsible for planning the future of food production in New Zealand must start listening to Marks and Spencer's and stop listening to AgResearch, GE Free NZ said.

Carapiet said AgResearch's argument that this is for 'humanity' is not enough to justify extreme science. Drugs that are being touted for GE animals bioreactors are already available through other manufacturing processes; those experiments should never have been allowed.

The GE animal cloning programme is being hyped when other solutions are deliberately ignored, such as reducing methane through mixed forage, and climate-smart agriculture identified in the UN's FAO report.