A council of well-known New Zealanders yesterday [Wednesday] demanded a five-year extension to the ban on the release of genetically modified organisms, in protest at the Labour government's intentions to lift the current GM moratorium in October 2003. Led by South Canterbury farmer and former Federated Farmers president Sir Peter Elworthy, the Sustainability Council boasts a high-profile membership including actor Sam Neill, former squash player Dame Susan Devoy, Auckland University biochemistry professor Dr Garth Cooper and food writer Annabelle Langbein.