Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Biosafety Protocol A Good Balance - Minister


Media Release
Hon Phil Goff


30 January 2000


BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL STRIKES A GOOD BALANCE

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the adoption of the Biosafety Protocol in Montreal. "The result strikes a good balance between environmental and trade concerns. The Protocol meets our biosecurity concerns without unnecessarily restricting trade", he said.

"New Zealand has long pushed for a biosafety protocol to protect against risks posed by the transfer of living genetically modified organisms. We have a vital interest in protecting both our agricultural production and natural biodiversity

"When the Cabinet gave instructions to New Zealand's negotiating team there was a degree of pessimism, given the past failure of countries to find common ground. Had there been no agreement, then no international protocol would have existed to provide advance information about transfers of GMOs. We are pleased to see a successful outcome achieved by consensus.

Under the Protocol, states importing Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) can apply domestic laws in conformity with the precautionary principle.

That principle is incorporated in the text as; "lack of scientific certainty shall not prevent a party from taking decisions to minimise or avoid potential adverse effects".

The Protocol also provides that all products that may contain LMOs must be identified. "The convention clearly strengthens the hand of importing countries with regard to Genetically Modified Organisms.

Mr Goff said, "this will provide a good basis for New Zealand's GMO labelling exercise. On the trade side, there is also a useful reference to rights and obligations under existing agreements, such as the WTO.

"This helps meet the concern that countries could misuse provisions of the Protocol as a pretext for trade protectionism.

Mr Goff said, "the Protocol will be open for signing at the next meeting to be held in Nairobi in the May. Following Cabinet approval, New Zealand would sign the Protocol. A Parliamentary Select Committee would then consider and report on it before the Government takes a decision to ratify the Protocol.

"New Zealand is likely to be an early signatory, but it would be a couple of years before the Protocol could take effect because of the need for a minimum number of countries to sign the agreement.

"New Zealand already has the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms legislation which provides most of the protection we require. What this protocol does is gives early advance notice of companies or countries wishing to import LMOs into New Zealand.

"The Protocol will also assist developing countries around the world who do not have the legislative protection that New Zealand already enjoys".

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news