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


New Zealand To Sign Biosafety Protocol

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Hon Jim Sutton
Minister for Trade Negotiations

Press Release

24 May 2000


New Zealand would sign the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety when it opened for signature in Nairobi tonight (NZ time), Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

The Biosafety Protocol, which was adopted in Montreal last January, covers the safe transfer, handling, and use of living modified organisms that might have an adverse effect on biodiversity.

Living modified organisms, or LMOs, are a subset of genetically modified organisms. They are living things that can transfer or replicate their genetic material - such as seeds, fruit, grains, or animals.

However, products such as flour, fruit juice, or bread are not included in the protocol.

Mr Goff said New Zealand already had legislation covering LMOs.

"The Hazardous Substances and New Organism Act provides most of the protection we require. But thanks to the protocol, we will get access to advance information about LMOs which are about to be sold as commercial products and that will improve our implementation of the HSNO Act.

"For countries with minimal or no such domestic law, the protocol will help provide some safeguards and mechanisms for considering and regulating LMOs.

"Without the protocol, many states would not even know how many LMOs were passing through their borders as part of international trade."

Mr Goff said that as an early signatory, New Zealand would take an active part in the interim Intergovernmental Committee, which would be set up under the protocol. Its first meeting would be at the end of this year.

Officials would also consult with stakeholders, he said. A review of existing legislation and regulations will be carried out and a national impact analysis report will be prepared, prior to ratification by the Government.

"In light of the relatively high number of countries required to ratify the protocol before it comes into force ? 50 ? it is not expected to be implemented before 2002."

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said that while the protocol represented progress, New Zealand would have to remain vigilant to ensure it was not used to erect trade barriers against our products.

New Zealand is not currently an exporter of LMOs. As such, the direct impact of the protocol on New Zealand exporters should be minimal.

However, research projects exploring the application of genetic modification are underway, and dependent on the report of the Royal Commission, export opportunities in the area might exist.

Mr Sutton said New Zealand was committed to maintaining World Trade Organisation-agreed rules-based system for trade.

Contact: David Shearer, Phil Goff's office 4719 734 Or Cathie Bell, Jim Sutton's office 4719855 or 025 998467

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election