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


Papers Show Industry Too Close To GE Corn Story

15 July 2002

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today she was concerned that papers released by the Government over the weekend showed industry were involved in shaping the way the GE corn story was presented to the public.

An email from Novartis PR to Government officials on 6th December said "We have taken the liberty of drafting an updated statement that diverts the debate from the sweet corn issue to a more generic issue of recognising the need to develop a practical process."

"In the end, the Minister for the Environment presented the story in her press release on 19th December in exactly the way that industry PR recommended," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Another email from MFE to ERMA, the Minister's office and MAF revealed that industry was shown the draft release before it went out and seemed "comfortable" with it, although Novartis "did ask if we need to mention sweet corn". MFE advice was that "we may as well be upfront given the number of people out there who know about it."

"It is completely inappropriate that industry PR was party to the decisions about what the public should be told," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Those decisions should always be made independently by Government."

Ms Fitzsimons said the papers showed widespread confusion amongst Government officials about whether a tolerance level for GE seed contamination was in place. Some were still confused in June 2002.

"There is a very clear lesson that can be drawn from this whole disaster. Our regulatory system could not cope. I do not have faith that it will be able to cope if the moratorium on commercial releases is lifted next October."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


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>>


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>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news