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


GE Debate Just Commencing - Peters

Media Release

30 October 2001

GE Debate Just Commencing-Peters

The New Zealand First Caucus has today debated at length the decision of the Government to continue the moratorium on the commercialization of genetically modified substances and to permit an opening up of field trials of activities previously confined to the laboratory.

“We are supportive of the Government’s position on GE. However we remain unconvinced that the present structures and monitoring of trials is sufficiently independent and robust that we can give it total support,” explained the Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Only the most closely monitored and controlled field testing should be undertaken, and even then, only with independent oversight by Internationally recognised authorities. Agencies with a vested interest of a commercial nature, particularly multi-nationals with an unenviable record in the conducting of their affairs in the area of GE, must be kept at arms length from the monitoring process. This would decrease substantially the concerns of ordinary New Zealanders and NZ First has pledged to pursue this as a prerequisite to any field trial extensions,” Mr Peters said.

“ Even then, only applications which have been thoroughly researched and approved as safe, appropriate and necessary and demonstrating a low risk, high advantage to New Zealand and New Zealanders, could be supported to begin field trials”, he said.

“Given the lack of precise and totally reliable information surrounding the whole spectrum of GE, and the existence of significantly differing viewpoints between so many of the ‘experts’ in this area of science, New Zealand First has resolved to adopt, on behalf of its constituency, a position of opposition to any unilateral extension of genetic modification into the areas of commercial release of plants or animals”, Mr Peters stated.

“Experimentation in any form carries with it certain risks and in the case of GE, we have to be assured that every reasonable step necessary to guarantee our safety and the security of our export industries has been considered before any trials or scientific experimentation of such matters, is even contemplated, let alone commenced,” he said.

“The dangers of getting any rogue GE micro-organisms or unintended cross fertilization into our everyday food supplies, pose a potentially very serious threat to the well-being of all New Zealanders and accordingly, any such potential must be eliminated”, Mr Peters said.

“The need to ensure the primacy of safety for New Zealanders is axiomatic and is not negotiable, and under no circumstances, must the New Zealand Government abandon its obligation to its people in that regard.

Meanwhile associated aspects of GE such as the labeling of foodstuffs containing modified substances must be introduced immediately in order that we can tell at a glance, whilst products are on the shelves, just what it is that we may be subjecting ourselves and our families too. We will be seeking the assurance of the Government to implement such a labeling regime forthwith and to bring her Minister of Health into line with view of the vast majority of New Zealanders who are demanding the right to be informed as to the contents of foodstuffs purchased. It is just not good enough for the New Zealand Health Minister to be led by the nose by Australian Ministers as she was in respect to this matter only last week, when she informed us that she had reluctantly had to go along with the majority within the ANZFA committee ”, stated Mr Peters.

“New Zealand First will ensure either the exemption provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act are implemented, or if necessary, that the Act is amended in order to preserve New Zealand’s independence and sovereignty over such matters are maintained, Concluded Mr Peters.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tax Working Group’s Road Map

Trying to analyse the interim report on the Tax Working Group (TWG) is like trying to review an entire All Blacks game, but at the half- time mark.

With so much still to be finalised, Sir Michael Cullen and his colleagues are going to need all the All Blacks’ fabled finishing skills to get a coherent, fiscally neutral package together by the February 2019 deadline. More>>


Meth Testing Report: Housing NZ "To Right Wrong"

Phil Twyford “Housing NZ acknowledges that around 800 tenants suffered by either losing their tenancies, losing their possessions, being suspended from the public housing waiting list, negative effects on their credit ratings or, in the worst cases, being made homeless.” More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>


Pay Equity Bill: Making History For Women’s Pay

The Equal Pay Amendment Bill, introduced to the House today, will make it easier for workers to make a pay equity claim , using a more simple and accessible process within New Zealand’s existing bargaining framework. More>>


Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote… Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels