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Five parties have joined the Council’s defence as Section 274 Parties (interested parties who originally made submissions to the Council on its Regional Policy Statement).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

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


 

Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>

ALSO:

New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>

ALSO:

Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>

ALSO:

Wellington:

Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels