Parliament

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

 

GE onion trial is dead-end science, say Greens


GE onion trial is dead-end science, say Greens

The Green Party is vowing to fight any attempt to establish commercial GE onion crops for human consumption in New Zealand.

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said that the Crop and Food GE onion trial approved today by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is dead-end science.

"The big question surrounding this application has always been: what's next?" Ms Fitzsimons said. "Allowing this field test is like allowing mineral prospecting in a national park without considering the likely effects of allowing full-scale mining later.

"ERMA has said they did not consider any issues related to the consumption or marketing of this crop as it is not an application for release. But the trial makes no sense unless we intend to grow the onions commercially.

"There has only ever been one reason for developing Roundup tolerant crops - and that is to sell more Roundup. The really silly thing about the whole experiment is that organic growers are already producing - and successfully selling - onions without any herbicides. Where on earth is the consumer demand to eat Roundup-flavoured onions?"

"Crop and Food CEO, Paul Tocker had it right when he said 'Ultimately, it will be growers and consumers who will determine the future of these products.' The fact is, New Zealand shoppers and organic farmers have already spoken. Unfortunately, Crop and Food - and ERMA - haven't been listening."

ERMA has admitted one of the three main risks they considered was of unintended effects, and to reduce this the insertion of the new genetic material has been limited to two copies. "Yet they admit that nothing is known about the function of some of the DNA they have included - it has never been decoded. That means this onion could have unpredictable effects on health or the environment, just as we have always said."

Ms Fitzsimons predicted the 1500 submissions on the field trial would be nothing compared to the outrage that would greet any application for commercial release.

"We will oppose any attempt to grow these onions for human consumption on the basis that it would threaten our health and our environmental and economic well-being."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election