Parliament

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

 

Government too late over GE salmon - Greens

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today criticised the National Government for years of "doing nothing" on genetically engineered salmon research, after news today that GE eggs may have escaped from King Salmon's research site.

Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) chief executive Bas Walker today admitted there was a chance that GE salmon eggs may have escaped into the environment.

"But this hand-wringing has come after months of inaction by ERMA after I warned in April of very specific dangers at the site, including of egg escape," Ms Fitzsimons said today. "It has also come after five years of GE salmon work which government agencies kept quiet about. Those same agencies should have been monitoring the research. They left the monitoring almost entirely to the company itself."

Alarm bells should have rung merely because King Salmon is owned by the Tiong Group, a Malaysian-based multinational responsible for rainforest destruction throughout the world, she said.

"But there are numerous reasons why the Government should have taken this experiment much more seriously. For example New Zealand is the only country in the International Salmon Farmers Association to back genetically engineered salmon. "In September 1996 the International Salmon Farmers Association (ISFA) at a meeting in Galway, Ireland adopted a resolution that maintained that member nations of the ISFA did NOT become involved in the genetic manipulation of farmed salmon. This resolution was supported by all member nations other than New Zealand who voted against the resolution." In recent months, this non-binding resolution to oppose genetically engineered farmed salmon was reconfirmed by the international association, Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Farmed salmon regularly escape into the wild and now form a significant part of wild stocks around the world. Concern about the risks to wild salmon and to ocean and river ecosystems from super-fast-growing GE salmon has led all other countries to say, `We won't do it if you won't'. But not New Zealand.

"Salmon are migratory fish and I know that in Canada and in Scotland, where scientists are also persisting with GE salmon research, deep concern has been expressed about the possibility of genetically engineered salmon polluting wild stocks."

In April this year the Green Party released a leaked document written by the PR firm Communications Trumps which urged King Salmon to keep the GE research secret, saying: "issues such as deformities, lumps on heads etc should not be mentioned at any point to anyone outside"


ends

© 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