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

 


Dirty tricks campaign to get genetic engineering into NZ

Soil & Health Association of New Zealand
(Est. 1941)
Publishers of ORGANIC NZ
3 April 2011
Dirty tricks campaign to get genetic engineering into the New Zealand landscape

A dirty tricks campaign is under way to get public and government acceptance of genetically engineered (GE) crops into New Zealand farming systems, according to the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand.

The release on Friday by Otago University’s Associate Professor John Knight, of an Agmardt funded report on the attitude of tourists to scenarios of nuclear power and GE crops was incomplete and constructed to get the result that Agmardt and United States foreign policy wanted, says Soil & Health. (1)

The report failed to disclose the results of significant questions around the 100% Pure New Zealand brand, or what trust in New Zealand would be, should the Government allow nuclear power, allow factory farming, close GE field trials, demand GE labelling and for biotech companies to be liable for GE damage. The report was a mix of selected data and opinion by the author, who is closely linked to the biotech industry.

“Agmardt and Pastoral Genomics have only just hosted the internationally discredited, University of California Professor, Pamela Ronald, for a public relations tour of New Zealand. Ronald intentionally misrepresented organic systems and GE as potentially coexisting,” said Soil & Health-Organic NZ spokesperson Steffan Browning. (2)

“Both Knight’s report and Ronald’s presentations and responses to media are extremely misleading and part of a pro-GE strategy outlined in the recommendations by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) international GE policy specialist Terri Dunahay following her time in New Zealand government agencies last year.” (3)

“Wikileaks has shown the United States embassy pressure on the New Zealand government to embrace GE, and now Fonterra and PGG Wrightson’s associates, Agmardt and Pastoral Genomics, are ramping up the public relations communications in New Zealand in an effort to tick Dunahay’s recommendation boxes and get GE rye grass and clover into New Zealand’s pastures.” (4,5,6)

“Monsanto’s GE crops, and Scion and ArboGen’s GE pines, would quickly follow any introduction of GE pastures,” said Mr Browning.

“Unfortunately the pro-GE PR is neither accurate nor balanced and fails to include the benefits of remaining both nuclear free and GE free, or the costs to New Zealand’s current primary production being able to declare its produce as free from GE contamination.”

“Associate Professor Knight needs to make available the latest raw research data for independent analysis.”

“Knight’s Agmardt funded report fails to address the opportunities to tourism by remaining GE free. Even accepting Knight’s biased research, the approximately 9 % of tourists, who said that they would stop visiting New Zealand if GE was introduced, are very valuable to a tourist industry currently suffering from decline in tourist numbers.”

“Knight failed to consider the effects of the 9% drop in tourism, and suggested that “ Introduction of drought-tolerant GM pasture into New Zealand would seem highly unlikely to have a damaging impact on New Zealand’s ‘clean green’ image for either exports of food products or for tourism.”

“A well facilitated public debate between GE protagonists, and Soil & Health-Organic NZ and GE Free NZ representatives is urgently needed.”

Soil & Health has a vision of an Organic 2020 where Aotearoa New Zealand remains Nuclear Free, GE Free, Factory Farm Free, and is following a path towards organic genuinely sustainable production and conservation.

(1) http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago017378.html Please contact Steffan Browning for a copy of the full report. The full report is also available on request from Otago University, although the raw data does not appear to be available.

(2) http://www.organicnz.org/soil-and-health-press/mission-misrepresents-reality/

(3) http://www.fulbright.org.nz/voices/axford/2010_dunahay.html

(4) http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1012/S00171/wikileak-das-reed-engages-on-tpp-un-env-fiji-apec.htm

(5) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops

(6) http://www.organicnz.org/soil-and-health-press/pure-newzealand/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news