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


Govt Urged To Back Down On Terminator Technology

10 February 2005

Govt urged to back down on terminator technology

The Greens are horrified that New Zealand is one of only three countries pushing to change the rules governing the use of "terminator technology", which prevents seeds from developing into new plants.

Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are pushing for a lifting of the defacto moratorium on use of terminator technology in the field - contained in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity - at a meeting in Bangkok concluding tomorrow.

"It is alarming that we're lining up with the genetic vandals of the world against Europe and the developing world to force this technology on to an unsuspecting public," Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

"In 1999, Monsanto and other big seed companies publicly committed to shelving the technology after an international outcry against it. It is appalling that New Zealand would now be supporting Canada's attempt to revive it."

Ms Fitzsimons said it was impossible to be sure whether seed sterility would spread to other crops if this technology is used.

"The risks to small farmers in the developing world are enormous. This technology could mean bankruptcy and starvation for subsistence farmers throughout the developing world.

"This technology could also be used as a way to promote more GE crops on the assumption that the GE seed won't spread. However, that assumption has yet to be proven to any adequate standard," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"There remain huge unanswered questions about its safety, and about whether it will lead to the spread of seed sterility, and thus lead to the bankruptcy and starvation of small farmers. Until those questions are properly answered, we must proceed with caution.

"The technology will undoubtedly give even greater control of the world's food supply to multinational corporations," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity were right to agree on a ban on this technology. That ban should be formalised, not completely removed, and it is very concerning that New Zealand would be trying to prevent it becoming international law."

The Greens are calling on all concerned members of the public to email the relevant ministers - the Prime Minister helen.clark at parliament.govt.nz), the Environment Minister ( marian.hobbs at parliament.govt.nz), the Trade Negotiations Minister ( jim.sutton at parliament.govt.nz), the Research, Science and Technology Minister (pete.hodgson at parliament.govt.nz), the Economic Development Minister ( jim.anderton at parliament.govt.nz) and the Foreign Affairs Minister (phil.goff at parliament.govt.nz) - urging them to change New Zealand's stance on terminator technology at tomorrow's meeting.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


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>>

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