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


Officials out of touch with New Zealanders

30 July 2008

Officials out of touch with New Zealanders

It is ridiculous that officials are backing a proposal to set up a new field trial in Canterbury of genetically engineered onions, spring onions, garlic and leeks by saying it would "enhance"aspects of New Zealand's reputation, says Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

"I wish some of these government advisors who are pushing New Zealand to become the world's GE laboratory, with all the risks that involves, would talk to just a few of the many ordinary New Zealanders who email and 'phone me urging the Greens to do all we can to keep our food-growing industry GE-free."

Crop and Food Research scientists are awaiting approval for the 10-year field trial and an Environmental Risk Management Authority project team has said in an interim report just issued that it considers, "the benefits to be derived from the proposed field test would be; enhancing New Zealand's ability to preserve options and maintain choices, increased scientific knowledge including knowledge about environmental impacts, agronomic performance and impactŠ and enhanced reputation of New Zealand agricultural research".

Says Ms Fitzsimons; "To most people, saying GE food trials would enhance our reputation in any way, especially as a producer of clean and green products, would be like saying nuclear warship visits could do likewise.

"Rather than 'preserving options and maintaining choices' we are heading down a route that will seriously restrict the choices of growers who wish to satisfy their markets that their products are totally GE-free, and eventually deny choice to New Zealand consumers who want certainty their food is uncontaminated.

"Significantly this test takes the risk to new levels by allowing a small number of onion plants in the field to flower and set seed within special cages, rather than preventing GE plants from reproducing as in previous trials.
"Unlike the Greens, and most New Zealanders, the Government doesn't care whether we are GE-free or not and with each new trial, the risk of accidents is increased and so is the risk to our international image."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election