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Govt dumping GE papers on holiday break

The Government is ducking for cover in planning to release two significant reports on Genetic Engineering on the eve of a public holiday, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

One, commissioned by Treasury, analyses the economic impacts on New Zealand of releasing GE organisms; the other explores the potential for "co-existence" of GE and non-GE crops.

"These are two of the most important questions the public has been asking about the Government's plan to allow GE release after the moratorium expires in October this year," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"I can only assume that the results of the two studies are embarrassing for the Government, and that they want as little media coverage as possible."

Ms Fitzsimons said she believed the Government had selected the day before Good Friday for public release, knowing full well that media organisations would be winding down for the Easter break, and that many members of the public would be going away on holiday.

"There will be no Friday morning newspaper on Good Friday, and many people will be away over the weekend. Many people will also be driving away on holiday on Thursday, so will miss the evening TV news," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"This is a cunning Government technique, often used to 'bury' important research and analysis."

Ms Fitzsimons said she and Green Party researchers would fully analyse the reports when they finally receive copies, and would report independently to the public on what the research says.

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