Parliament

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

 

Farmers rejecting genetic engineering

Green Party MP and organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street today said that ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff had been very poorly advised on farmers attitudes towards genetic engineering.

Mr Ewen-Street was responding to a media statement in which Mr Eckhoff said unless farmers made submissions to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification in favour of genetic engineering, farmers ran the risk of having the rural economy kneecapped.

"The reality is in fact quite the opposite," said Mr Ewen-Street. "A UMR Insight AFFCO survey in May found that 70 per cent of New Zealand farmers believed the future of New Zealand farming was with organic production and only 15 per cent thought the future was with genetic engineering."

Mr Ewen-Street said markets for genetically engineered foods were collapsing around the world as more and more consumers were prepared to pay high premiums to avoid the uncertainty of genetically engineered food.

"Statistics from the New Zealand Organic Products Exporters Group (OPEG) show that current organic export sales of $65 million are set to skyrocket to around $500 million per year by 2006," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said it was ironic for the proponents of genetic engineering, such as Mr Eckhoff, to accuse the opponents of using "unscientific propaganda" when the scientific arguments for genetic engineering were very fragile and the economic benefits to New Zealand of staying GE-free were enormous.

"I have travelled up and down this country speaking to meetings of farmers who are very interested in the economic benefits of organics," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Farmers are quick to realise the huge benefits of producing the cleanest, greenest and safest food in the world at a time when prices and demand for genetically engineered foods are very poor globally."

Mr Ewen-Street said he urged farmers to make submissions to the Royal Commission as genetically engineered crops and animals had the potential to destroy both the organic and the GE-free opportunities that New Zealand farmers currently enjoyed.

"Mr Eckhoff might believe that the future of farming lies with joining the rest of the world and manipulating our crops and animals with unproven and unwanted technology. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of farmers are rejecting genetic engineering and are continuing to enhance our clean green agricultural image."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels