Government deliberately "buries" Seeds review
Government deliberately "buries" Pacific Seeds review
The Government appears to have deliberately delayed releasing an independent review of the Pacific Seeds GE incident, in the hope it would be "buried" in the pre-Christmas media slowdown, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
Ms Fitzsimons said it was concerning the authority sat on the report, by independent consultant Professor Don McGregor, for two months, releasing it only yesterday [Thursday 19 December] - six days before Christmas.
Ms Fitzsimons said that, despite the review, the same problem - contamination of conventional crops with genetically engineered seed - would occur again, unless a more fundamental shift occurred. The report recognises that contamination of conventional crops will occur again, unless we take other steps to control it.
"New Zealand has to stop importing potentially contaminated seed. New Zealand needs to work with companies and countries around the world to establish a trading network for certified GE-free seed," Ms Fitzsimons said.
The report, 'A Review of the Handling of the GM Maize Incident at Gisborne and Pukekohe', was jointly commissioned by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, and the Environmental Risk Management Authority, in September and completed in October. In the review, Prof McGregor raises serious concerns over the handling of the incident by MAF and ERMA.
Ms Fitzsimons said she agreed with his conclusions that the confusion between the two bodies in their management of such occurrences had to be sorted out.
Ms Fitzsimons said she would also prefer to see a greater commitment from MAF and ERMA in their contingency planning to involving anti-GE and organic representative bodies.