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


Environment Minister condemns Greens for claims

23 May 2002

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has rejected Green Party claims of a widespread release of GE material next year and condemned these statements as a political stunt.

"It is absolute nonsense to suggest there'll be a wholesale release when the moratorium on applications for the release of genetically modified organisms ends in October 2003.

"New Zealand has the strictest rules on genetic modification of any country in the world. People wanting to release geneticially modified material into our environment will still have to go through a full approval process, including public submissions and hearings by the Environmental Risk Management Authority. That process cannot begin until the moratorium is lifted.

"There will be no release next year.

"Further, the government introduced the moratorium to investigate issues surrounding release and to decide whether to establish a new category of 'conditional release'.

"This category, recommended by the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, would provide for the controlled development of genetic modification. The Greens know this and are just grandstanding rather than awaiting the results of the government's consideration of this proposal.

"The Greens cannot have it both ways. A Green MP Ian Ewen-Street argued in Blenheim for a GE free Marlborough. Did that mean that Marlborough could be GE free while the rest of the country grew genetically modified crops? If so, that is a form of conditional release which the Greens agree is impossible.

"The Bill passed by Parliament yesterday further strengthens the controls on field trials. But it is vital we continue to research genetic modification and understand its risks and benefits. We are proceeding with caution but cannot turn our backs on science.

"I personally find it sad that having worked closely with the Greens on the development of this legislation they now choose to twist the truth for some hoped-for political gain.

"This is a difficult issue to understand. Rational consideration of the risks and opportunities is needed, not wild assertions that cannot be proven," Marian Hobbs said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news