Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Landmark court case on GE

Landmark court case on GE

26 November 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

One of the world’s oldest organic organisations is going to court to support caution on genetic engineering. The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand, founded in 1941, is leading a group of interested parties in support of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s precautionary approach to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in its Regional Policy Statement.

“We are advocating on behalf of our 3000 members, plus consumers and producers, both organic and conventional, who want a precautionary approach to GE,” said Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health. “Soil & Health is a not-for-profit organisation and we have received amazing support for this case in our recent appeal to members and supporters.”

The publicly owned Forest Research Institute, Scion, triggered the court case by appealing the Council’s inclusion of precautionary wording about GMOs. The case will be heard in the Environment Court in Tauranga on 28–29 November. Scion has received millions of taxpayer dollars to develop genetically engineered pine trees. It has a field trial at Rotorua, and approval to plant thousands of GE pine trees.

Five parties have joined the Council’s defence as Section 274 Parties (interested parties who originally made submissions to the Council on its Regional Policy Statement). They are Soil & Health, GE Free NZ (in Food and Environment), GE Free Northland and two individuals: John Sanderson and former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Karen Summerhays.

“Soil & Health supports the right of local bodies to manage any potential release of GMOs in their area,” said Thomson. “We are concerned that Environment Minister Amy Adams has signalled her intention to ban councils from being able to manage GMOs as a land-use issue in their regions, cities or districts. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has listened to community concerns and stated that they promote a precautionary approach to GMOs. They also acknowledge that current legislation may be inadequate to deal with potential adverse effects of GMOs in the region.”

“GMOs are incompatible with organic systems, and are not allowed in food or farming according to organic certification standards,” said Thomson. Overseas, there have been numerous farmers who have lost their GE-free or certified organic status because of contamination from GE crops. A well-known case was that of Percy Schmeiser in Canada, whose canola crop became contaminated by his neighbour’s GE canola; seed company Monsanto eventually settled out of court. In Western Australia, Steve Marsh lost organic certification for 70% of his farm when his oat and wheat crops became contaminated by a neighbour’s GE canola; a court case is pending.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>

 

Bullying Investigations: Police Commissioner Announces Independent Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels