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Royal Forest And Bird Cares Nought For The Truth

Monday 9th Oct 2000 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Environment

A leaked e-mail shows that the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is concocting its submission to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Engineering, said ACT Conservation spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society were successful in gaining interested party status before the Royal Commission. Their submission is against Genetic Engineering/ Genetic Modification because of the likely effects on New Zealand’s local flora and fauna.

“The actions of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society are typical of pagan green organisations, who through scare mongering and heresy, promote their doomsday agendas. Yet when these same groups are forced to back up their spurious allegations, they are at wits end trying to find supporting scientific evidence.

“The leaked e-mail shows Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society Executive Member, Peter Maddison, begging for scientific studies to back up his organisations publicly stated view. He states ‘our particular concerns are to put in the submission opposition to GE/GM because of the likely effects on NZ’s local and rather unique flora and fauna. I am looking for information in the form of reports or references to such work in other countries, but am unaware of any studies other than those on Monarch butterfly”.

“Ignoring the fact that reports prove monarch populations have increased in the years since pesticide use has dropped due to the introduction of GE crops, the only kind of organisation that reaches its public conclusion first and then frantically tries to prove it second, is one that does not care about the truth.

“One can fairly conclude that the New Zealand Forest and Bird Protection Society will only include in its submission those lab reports with anti-GE test results that support its politicised position and blatantly ignore all opposing data, regardless of its volume.

“Ex Forest and Bird Protection Society Conservation Director, Kevin Smith, is now Conservation Minster, Sandra Lee’s, new senior conservation advisor. One can only hope that Mr Smith does not bring the close-minded, politicking culture of Forest and Bird, for whom he has worked for the last 15 years, to the Minister’s office.

“New Zealand’s Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Engineering is being watched world wide. Organisations like Royal Forest and Bird that are deliberately undermining the inquiry are hurting New Zealand’s international reputation and the world’s chance for good science to assist all humanity,” said Gerry Eckhoff.

Please find attached the e-mail from Peter Maddison;

Subj: Opposition to GM crops in New Zealand
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 2:09:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Susan

I thought someone on this list could provide Mr. Maddison with some information to allay (disprove?) his concerns about what he calls the “likely (negative) effects” of GM crops on New Zealand’s flora and fauna.

From: “Peter Maddison”

I am an Executive Member of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society - New Zealand’s leading conservation organisation. There is a Royal Commission on genetic engineering in New Zealand.

I am charged with convening the submission from Forest & Bird to this Royal Commission.

Our particular concerns are to put in the submission opposition to GE/GM because of the likely effects on NZ’s local and rather unique flora and fauna. I am looking for information in the form of reports or references to such work in other countries, but am unaware of any studies other than those on Monarch butterfly.

Peter Maddison Field Studies, 14, Waikumete Road, Glen Eden, Waitakere City, New Zealand Ph. 00649 8186803 Fax 00649 8186894


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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