Govt Decision on GM ignores organic industry
BIO-GRO New Zealand
31 October 2001
Govt Decision on GM ignores organic industry concerns
The Labour Govt has ignored the concerns of New Zealand’s organic industry by continuing to allow some GM releases and field trials, Bio-Gro Chief Executive Seager Mason said today. “The Government decision announced today will do nothing to reassure organic farmers that our farms, our products, and our markets will be protected from GM damage”.
“Organics is a proven winner in world markets, and we were looking to this decision to affirm that organics would receive the protection and encouragement it justifiably deserves” he said. “Instead the Government has given in to pressure from the GM interests, and yet more money will be thrown at GM research of doubtful value for products which markets are rejecting”.
“The continuation of existing field trials and the lifting of the moratorium for new trials will continue to destabilize our vitally important organic industry” says Mr Mason.”In the past ERMA has basically rubberstamped GM applications, and we have no reason to suspect that this will now change”.
He also stated that the Government’s lifting of the moratorium on field trial releases without immediate introduction of a strict liability regime as recommended in the report by Chen Palmer & Partners and Simon Terry Associates does not protect organic or conventional growers.
“Our markets have already suffered following the Royal Commission report, and this decision will cause further damage. Any GM contamination of our products will be disastrous for New Zealand’s organic industry”.
Mr Mason concluded that “a GE Free New Zealand is still the best economic option for this country’s producers and environment. Bio-Gro is confident that increasing international market rejection of genetically manipulated food will continue to come loud and clear”.
Seager Mason B.Sc, M.Phil, Chief Executive.
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