Greenpeace Calls For Immediate Ratification Of Biosafety
15 January 2001, Wellington – During an organic breakfast on the Rainbow Warrior this morning, Greenpeace asked political party representatives to encourage the speedy ratification of the Biosafety Protocol.
The Biosafety Protocol is an international agreement designed to protect biodiversity from the hazards posed by genetically engineered organisms.
Onboard the Rainbow Warrior, Environment Minister, Marion Hobbs, was told about the pressing need for New Zealand to ratify the biosafety protocol. “The protocol has as its objective the protection of biodiversity and human health,” said Greenpeace campaigner Annette Cotter. “It needs 50 countries to ratify it to become a legally binding international environmental treaty and only two to date have done so.11 Bulgaria and Trinadad and Tobago. New Zealand needs to take a prominent role in protecting the environment.”
Luke Anderson from the UK based Genetic
Engineering Network briefed the breakfast party on New
Zealand’s international obligations under the Biosafety
Protocol. These include the stringent application of the
precautionary principle in any risk assessments of
genetically engineered organisms, and the requirement to
take all steps necessary to prevent any harm to
biodiversity and human health. Countries who have the right
to ban GE imports under the protocol if there is a lack of
scientific certainty as to their safety.
“The Biosafety Protocol is about the protection of the health and environment for all New Zealanders, and ultimately for all the world. As part of the international community New Zealand has the responsibility to immediately ratify this agreement,” said Cotter.
The Rainbow Warrior sets sail for Christchurch tomorrow.