GM crop event to sow seeds of education

By Robyn Burke

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Denise La Grouw and Alan Solomon have organised a family-friendly event to educate. Photo / Stephen Parker
Denise La Grouw and Alan Solomon have organised a family-friendly event to educate. Photo / Stephen Parker

A group of people against genetically-modified food is staging a protest of a much more friendly kind this weekend.

Rotorua residents will get the chance to learn about genetically-modified crops at the Seed Freedom Rotorua event being held at City Focus on Saturday between 11am and 2pm.

Event organiser Denise La Grouw said it was an action of love.

"It's a Gandhi approach where people are given the information to educate themselves and make informed decisions about what they eat and what their families eat."

There will be seed and seedling giveaways, music, children's activities, information pamphlets, documentaries to see and the chance for people to learn about what a genetically-modified crop is.

The Seed Freedom Rotorua event is being held as part of worldwide protests across six continents to assert the rights of people to collect and save their own seeds rather than allow multi-global corporations to control the supply of all seeds.

Ms La Grouw said saving seeds was something people had done for generations. She said it was important people continued to do that and ensured the survival of different crops.

Ms La Grouw said there was no scientific proof genetically modified crops were safe, or decreased the need for the use of pesticides.

Seed Freedom spokesman Alan Solomon said action would continue with petitions to regional and district councils after Saturday's event.

He said if pending legislation was passed to allow widespread introduction of genetically-modified crops, there could be huge implications on Rotorua's tourist economy and agricultural and horticultural industry.

Mr Solomon said at the moment New Zealand was one of the only countries not to allow genetically-modified crops to be grown outside controlled environments.

The pair hope the current moratorium on growing GM crops will be extended another 10 years. Similar events are being held in Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton, Thames and Wellington.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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