October 1, 2003
New Zealand Herald
Controversial billboards portraying a naked woman with four breasts are going up in Auckland and Wellington today to provoke a debate about the ethics of genetic modification.
The posters, designed by former singer Alannah Currie, show a milking machine attached to the woman's breasts in a reference to AgResearch's plans to use cows as living factories to manufacture proteins that may help to cure diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
"It's not a sexual photo," Currie said. "It's shocking but it's not sexual. It has to be quite controversial and provocative in order to get this debate about ethics going."
The image will be on five billboards in Auckland and two in Wellington this month, coinciding with a march against genetic modification on October 11 and the scheduled end of the ban on releasing GM organisms on October 29.
Currie said the cost of several thousand dollars was met by private donors - not by her group, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (Madge), which was ordered last week to pay $24,000 to AgResearch for its court costs in defending a Madge appeal against its GM plans.
The woman in the photo is Currie's niece Katarina.
She said the image was inspired by Auckland University physicist Dr
Peter Wills, who asked why AgResearch was "going to all this trouble to
make designer milk when they could clone a woman for milk".
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