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    GE Free NZ

    GE Free Coalition

    The first big GE Free protest/visibility event of the year the GE Free Coalition is now planning for is the 22nd of June where we will be asking people to organise themselves and the public to show that they support a GE Free NZ. Hopefully, this will involve not just public demonstrations, but people putting up signs on their properties or cars or schools or businesses or something that shows that on that day they declare their support for a GE Free NZ. The thought is that it is appropriate for winter solstice time to help renew public support for a GE Free NZ.

    Please spread word of this far and wide. If you want to help organise something for your location then let us know what is happening so we can help share ideas and coordinate things.

    Contact Tremane Barr at (03) 981-5235
    or email tremane.barr@clear.net.nz

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    New GE free food guide out
    More food giants reject GE

    14 May 2002

    Greenpeace New Zealand has just released a new third edition of their GE free food guide. This can be downloaded from their website http://www.gefreefood.org.nz
    The guide gives consumers more idea of what foods are genetically engineered than the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority labelling.

    Since the first edition, in December 2000, of the guide, most of the largest food producers have shifted to sourcing ingredients that are non GE, and have also ensured that their animal products are not from animals fed GE feed.

    Much of the market place is now free of genetic engineering, because some of the largest food companies in New Zealand have taken steps to remove GE from their products.

    Some of the major shifts in the new GE Free Food Guide include:

    • Unilever Australasia stated that they have 'worked to eliminate genetically modified crop derived ingredients, through substitution, sourcing from areas where non-genetically modified crops are grown and IP [identity preservation] systems'
    • Heinz Wattie has confirmed that 'over the past three years we have investigated the source of all of our ingredients and reformulated, where necessary, our product range to eliminate GM content. As part of this investigation the issue of GM feed has been considered and the same criteria applied'
    • Tegel and their feed distribution company NRM have confirmed that they have no GE in their food or feed. NRM distributes 230,000 tonnes annually of maize, wheat and soymeal, and are the largest feed company in NZ.
    • Arnotts have moved from the red category to green with their declaration that all their products are non GE.

    Other companies are in the process of sourcing non GE ingredients, and have made a commitment to remove GE from their food and animal products

    • Cerebos Greggs 'have identified a small number of ingredients, which are derived from genetically modified ingredients or produced using the assistance of gene technology.These products are exempt from labelling, however our food technologists are currently replacing these food ingredients with non-genetically modified alternatives.'

    The GE Free Food Guide outlines company positions on genetic engineering. The companies are colour coded according to their policy on the use of GE ingredients, and derivatives.

    The green category

    is companies that are not using GE originated plant and animal ingredients. This includes a policy of no GE animal feed. This criteria goes beyond the labelling regulations (ANZFA). Also included are certified organic products - the best guarantee of GE free.

    The orange category

    Companies who have committed to removing GE originated plant and animal ingredients and are in the process of doing so are classified as orange.

    The red category

    is companies that have no clear policy of removing GE originated ingredients. This category can include companies that did not respond adequately to our enquiries.

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    May 2002

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