GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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GE Poll in New Zealand



------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From:          "Glyn Walters"
Organization:  Greenpeace

Date:          Sat, 20 Apr 1997 16:13:08 +0000
Subject:       GE Poll in New Zealand

Here's the release that went out today with the poll result.

Cheers, Glyn 

MOST NEW ZEALANDERS ARE WORRIED ABOUT EATING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED 
FOOD -- OPINION POLL
Green Groups launch poll on eve of Global Week of Action 


Auckland, Sunday April 20th, 1997:- Sixty percent of New Zealanders 
are worried about eating genetically engineered food, according to an 
AGB McNair opinion poll commissioned by Greenpeace, Soil an
Health and Friends of the Earth.

The groups have called for an immediate moratorium on genetically 
engineered food, which can currently enter the New Zealand market 
without assessment or labellin

The poll, released by the groups on the eve of a Global Week of 
Action against genetic engineering, showed that 43 percent of people 
were "worried a lot" and 17 percent of people were considerably 
rried about eating genetically engineered food.  Only 12 percent of 
people "would not worry at all" about eating genetically engineered 
food (see attached results

Opinion polls in Europe also show consumer resistance to genetically 
engineered food.  Between 53 percent (in the UK) and 78 percent (in 
Sweden) of people disagreed with the statement: "I personall
would be happy to eat genetically modified food" (MORI, January 
1997). An average 17 percent of Europeans said they agreed with the 
statement

"Consumers have spoken," Stephanie Mills of Greenpeace said. "People 
do not want mutant food, and it is time the Government, the food 
regulators and the food industry listened to them

She said the groups had commissioned the poll of 1000 New Zealanders 
from an independent market research company to ensure a robust 
statistical result.  She criticised a HortResearch survey 
publi
 last week, which she said had loaded questions to list the supposed 
benefits of genetic engineering, while ignoring the risks. 

Genetically engineered soybeans, manipulated by Monsanto to be 
tolerant to their herbicide Roundup, may already have been imported 
from Australia into New Zealand.  Soybeans are used in cakes, 
br
 baby food and up to 60 percent of processed food.  Monsanto has 
applied to increase the level of permitted residues of Roundup in 
soybeans in Australia and New Zealand as result of importing 
Rou
 Ready soybeans.

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Soil and Health and other groups 
such as the Safe Food Campaign and the Open Forum for Health have 
called for amoratorium on all imports and production of 
geneti
y engineered food.  There are currently no regulations to assess or 
label genetically engineered food in New Zealand. Labelling 
regulations proposed by the Canberra-based Australia New Zealand Food
uthority would result in many genetically engineered foods not being 
labelled.

The Global Week of Action follows a highly successful referendum in 
Austria last week, where 1.22 million Austrians called on their 
government to stop the release of genetically engineered organism
into food and the environment.  Activities will be taking place in at 
least 24 countries during the week April 20-27th, including pickets, 
press conferences, and street protests, in the United Stat
, across Europe, Canada, India, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and 
Brazil.

In New Zealand, activities are planned by environment and food groups 
in both Auckland and Wellington.  On Earth Day, Tuesday April 22nd, 
Auckland groups will stage a supermarket protest at midday.
In Wellington, a similar protest is planned on Thursday.

For further details of the opinion poll and Auckland events, please 
contact:
Stephanie Mills at Greenpeace (025) 790 817 (09) 630 7331 (h) or Glyn 
Walters on (025) 931 363
Tricia Cheel, Soil and Health, (09) 480 4440 or
Wendy Johnson, Friends of the Earth (09) 303 4319
In Wellington, please contact  Sue Kedgley (04) 384 9123 or Rachel 
McKay (04) 233 9148 

Glyn 

Phone +64 9 630 6317 or +64 25 931 363
email: Glyn.Walters@dialb.greenpeace.org

Peter Morris, GE Campaigner, Greenpeace Int, Amsterdam
voice: +31 20 5249529   email: pmorris@ams.greenpeace.org