Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Field Trials Must Be Included In Moratorium

Government Heading In Right Direction On GE But FIELD TRIALS Must Be Included In Moratorium

September 7 2001: The Coalition for a GE-Free Environment Aotearoa New Zealand today told the Government that all genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) must be kept out of the environment. This would include the release of GMOs in field trials.

The Coalition was responding to the Government signal that it is looking at a moratorium on the commercial or conditional release of genetically engineered crops and animals.

"We welcome the direction the Government is heading in with regard to the release of GEOs into the environment, but the only way to protect the environment is to ban all releases. This includes so-called field trials, which are in fact small scale releases (1). The Government should also be clear to ban all GEOs, not just food crops and animals" says Seager Mason, Chief Executive of Bio-Gro.

"It is impossible to contain GE experiments outside the laboratory. Experience abroad, as well as in New Zealand is that containment of field trials is inevitably breached", says Annette Cotter of Greenpeace "In Tasmania alone, there have been 21 documented breaches of GE field trials (2)".

"Here in New Zealand, we have several experiences of breaches. This includes the GE tamarillo trials conducted by HortResearch in Northland, where the Royal Commission shared concerns at containment (3). Everyone's familiar with the GE salmon debacle, and the possibility that GE eggs escaped", says Cotter. "Its time to learn from these mistakes."

"The only way to prevent contamination and to protect the environment and primary production from potential risks of GMOs is to keep all experimentation in contained laboratories," says Seager Mason. "The Government must include field trial releases in any moratorium".

Notes to Editor


1. None of GE field trials conducted in New Zealand are fully contained, because the GMOs, whether genetically engineered pine trees, cattle or maize, are able to interact with the soils. Hence the door is open for the potential migration of GE material from the trial site to the wider environment.

2. Australian Federal Government Draft Report, March 2001.

3. The Commission confirmed public concerns about the containment of the field trial (Chap 6 para 91).

Members of the Coalition for a GE Free Environment Aotearoa New Zealand: www.gefree.net.nz

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

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.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election