5 Jun 2012

Hawke's Bay group wants region to promote GM-free food

7:22 am on 5 June 2012

Pure Hawke's Bay says the outcome of a consumer poll supports its call for the Hastings District Council to impose a 10-year ban on genetically-modified produced food.

The poll of 500 Hawke's Bay people found that 84% of those who responded want the region to remain GM-free.

Pure Hawke's Bay is an organisation made up of farmers and growers. Spokesperson Bruno Chambers says it wants the region to capture the significant marketing and branding benefits of producing only GM-free food.

"Tasmania has recently adopted Brand Tasmania and they're promoting themselves as producers of safe, nutritious GM-free produce. These are our competitors.

"GM food is a pariah on the market. The countries we sell to are closing their doors to GM food and we want to be on the right side of that.

"We're not talking about any lab testing or medical GM organisms; we're talking about any biologically viable release into the open environment.

"We've really got quite a growing list of growers and farmers who are coming in behind us, and I think once we get the word out there a bit more that number will grow."

Bruno Chambers says Pure Hawke's Bay is seeking support for its cause from major food processors in the region.