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


Taxpayer's Money Used In Monsanto's PR

New Zealand taxpayers have spent $100,000 funding a public relations front for genetic engineers, including the United States food and chemical giant Monsanto, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

New information on the genetic engineering PR organisation GenePool (also called Gene Technology Information Trust) is emerging this week, and funding details arrived today at Parliament's education and science select committee's office.

Up to now GenePool, which is winding up, has refused to give other than minor detail of its funding. It has also often described itself as an unbiased "education trust". Late last year GenePool held seminars around New Zealand publicising the so-called merits of genetic engineering. "While this body was set up by Monsanto and other genetic engineers, Monsanto put only $27,500 into GenePool's 1997-98 budget, while $100,625 came from the taxpayer," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"The Government has given taxpayers' money to an organisation that effectively was a front for Monsanto."

Details of GenePool's funding include $30,625 from Crown research institutes, $70,000 from government science grants, and $27,500 from Monsanto.

In the Evening Post yesterday, GenePool spokesman Howard Bezar said "public attacks" on GenePool may have had an adverse impact on the organisation "which made it difficult to proceed".

In April Ms Fitzsimons released a leaked document written by the public relations firm Communications Trumps, a company closely associated with GenePool, sharing office facilities and staff. The document, written for New Zealand King Salmon, urged the fish-farming firm to keep its work on genetically engineered fish secret.

Today Ms Fitzsimons said it was likely that a new front "education trust" would be set up in New Zealand by genetic engineers such as Monsanto.

"I predict this will happen within months, if not weeks," she said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need.

And I’m hedging with the ‘could well’ only because the Ardern government hasn’t yet spelled out whether the name change it has announced will also involve a rejection of the controversial use of Big Data to try and predict those children deemed to be at highest risk of inter-generational reliance on welfare support. More>>


Principals' Federation: End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages