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

 

GE Onion Approval Is Bad Science and Bad Business

GE Onion Approval Is Bad Science and Bad Business

The ERMA decision on GMF06002 gives Crop and Food a 10 year approval. This is highly concerning given the failure of the previous field test which was de-commissioned in May this year.

The decision by ERMA allows the field-testing of a range GE genetically engineered allium, onion, garlic, and leek species with herbicide, insecticide, reproductive genes and other traits. The Onions will be allowed to flower in pollen cages in the fields. They have also given permission to allow the trial GE seed to be exported or imported around the World.

Notwithstanding the threat to the environment from accidental contamination, and the threat to New Zealand's export-businesses from yet more GE crop trials, the approval is characterised by a shoddy approach to scientific research. There is an astonishing lack of data - and lack of interest in publishing such data - to assess the reasons for the previous failures, and to understand the potential toxicity of the plants before millions more are spent on the experiments.

"It appears that ERMA just rubber stamps risky GE experiments with unknown traits not even bothering to understand why they are all failing." says Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ in Food and Environment

There is no documentation of experimental procedures or safety testing of these foods. Rather, it is 'cowboy' science that is driven by profit at any cost to sound reseaerch and the precautionary approach to commercialising GE crops.

This cowboy approach could signal that New Zealand is being used to grow crops for overseas partners and that there will be no recompense to New Zealand for the loss of our clean green image or damage to the environment.

"ERMA is socialising risk and appearing not to care.It has become profoundly unethical in its approach to supporting commercial ventures at the public expense. It has never turned down a notified application to field test," says Claire Bleakely.

As we have seen from the devastating flash floods in the Lincoln Region, the weather does not recognise boundaries. As these trials are in secret locations and the stringency of MAF in their inspections of facilities leaves much to be desired, this approval is tantamount to an invitation for contamination of agricultural land surrounding Canterbury.

It is also of concern that ERMA extended its deliberations for a further 3 months whilst awaiting for information. At the same time the CEO of cash-strapped Crop and Food Research was appointed to the management board of FRST (Foundation for Research Science and Technology) a governmental statutory body administering funding.

GE Free NZ is highly concerned that this is not 'public good' science, but precisely the opposite. There is a strong possibility that as with the 3000 GE sheep (eventually destroyed), and the last GE onion failure, New Zealand will be left with yet another risky contaminated GE site for the tax payer to clean up. Much worse, economic disaster will result if there is an escape of pollen to the outside environment.

New Zealand export markets are relying on sustainable practices and safe healthy food production. The agricultural sector cannot bear the tarnish of GE when their exports rely on the provision of clean green agricultural practices.

"We cannot afford to loose our export reputation and damage our NZ brand name in this time of economic recession, it is a disaster for New Zealand to be putting its research into a field of technology that is not performing and is a direct threat to our export markets". says Claire Bleakely "GE Free food production in New Zealand gives us a market advantage. Yet again ERMA has let New Zealand farmers and consumers down by placing another poison arrow into a GE bow that is aiming against us."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election