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 Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s, when complaints were commonly being levelled at RNZ’s Morning Report programme, largely by National MPs discomfited by being interviewed by Kim Hill.

The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>


Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.





InfoPages News Channels