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


Nation pleas for government to protect GE-free

GE Free New Zealand

GE Free New Zealand PRESS RELEASE –13.10.03

Nation pleas for government to protect GE-free production

The tens of thousands of people taking to the street on Saturday, and the millions of others calling for the government to protect GE- free production hope the government will hear their plea.

In Auckland on Saturday a massive march drew an estimated 30,000 to walk through the city asking for the moratorium on GE release to be extended.

Despite the clear evidence that is vitally important to protect GE-free production in New Zealand the government refuses to protect it by law or to extend the moratorium.

From the economic case alone the law should require ERMA to protect GM-Free production systems.

Even the recent Otago Business School Study could not hide the fact that "New Zealand should defer commercial release of GMO's" in the very industries that are the backbone of our economy.

The refusal of the insurance industry to cover the damage from GE also supports the case that it is in the national interest to give legal protection to GE-free production systems.

But New Zealanders also want their human rights to be protected- including the right to avoid GE-contaminated food. The Royal Commission recommended the government help the food-industry introduce a "GE-Free" label so people could choose. But this is basic right is now being refused.

The call by Federated Farmers for ERMA to allow 1% GE-contamination as the price of co-existence must be rejected by government.

"New Zealanders are at a loss as to why the government is refusing to protect the one thing we and our overseas markets are calling for- GE-Free production", says Jon Carapiet who was a speaker at the Auckland march. "Protecting it is not unreasonable- it is the government's duty".

Coinciding with the New Zealand marches researchers in Mexico confirmed that native maize has been contaminated by GE constructs.

A legal challenge to the government’s policy to allow GE contamination thresholds is also being made to the Waitangi Tribunal.


Contact Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

References below:

Maize contamination in Mexico

Jon Carapiet speech Akl march

Maize Rage in Mexico GM maize contamination in Mexico - 2 years later

ETC Group Genotypes 10 October 2003 www.etcgroup.org

Twenty-five months after the first scientific evidence became public, the Mexican government and the scientific community have acknowledged that Mexico's traditional maize crop is contaminated with DNA from genetically modified (GM) maize despite a government prohibition on the planting of GM seeds in Mexico. Mexico is the centre of origin for maize - one of the world's most important food crops.

Yesterday, peasant farmers and indigenous communities along with civil society organizations in Mexico publicly released the results of their own testing that found GM contamination of native maize in at least nine states - far more serious and widespread than previously assumed. (1)
For a detailed report of their findings see:
http://www.etcgroup.org/article.asp?newsid=407 and
http://www.etcgroup.org/article.asp?newsid=408 (The report will soon be available in English.)

Jon Carapiet - Speech for the Auckland GE-Free March. 11 October 2003

It is time the government listened to the thousands of people here, and the millions of New Zealanders calling for the GE moratorium to be extended.

Across the world people are saying NO to contamination of our environment, NO to forcing people to eat contaminated food and NO to experiments that the insurance companies refuse to cover.

The British people have spoken loud and clear saying NO to GE release. Prince Charles himself has backed a GE-Free Britain. But this country has even more to lose from the direction we are being taken down.

We have a Brand image that is of unique value. Our vital exports MUST be kept GE-free.

Even the Royal Commission - with all its faults- said we should preserve our opportunities. And our greatest opportunity is for GE-Free.

It is unreasonable to sacrifice the one thing people all over the world are calling for. But the government refuse to protect GE-free production by Law. If the price for co-existence of GE is 1% GE contamination in ordinary food: that price is unreasonable.

That is 1% too much, not just because it denies our basic human rights, the rights of future generations, and threatens our environment, but also because such a threshold will destroy our vital exports.

Prevention is better than cure- especially when there is NO cure!.. when the damage is irreversible. Government Ministers like Marian Hobbs claim there will be no problems- that GE releases will not harm our exports or our image overseas. They are wrong.

Even a study by Otago University - which seems to have wanted to justify the government's policy- couldn't cover up the truth. Even they had to admit - "New Zealand should defer commercial release of GMO's" in the very industries that are the backbone of our economy.

Our major food companies - Like Sanitarium and Zespri, together with our wine-makers, and our chefs, our independent scientists, our rural women and farmers, have all warned against the harm that GE contamination will bring.

The government are fooling themselves if they think the release of GE crops overseas has been a success... It's been a disaster - with seed contamination widespread, customers rejecting products, and people's most basic human rights abused.

We must preserve GE-free production by LAW.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news