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

 


Threat To NZ Exports If Minister Changes GMO Rules


27/06/2013

NZ Exports and Regional Development Face Destruction If Minister Changes GMO Rules

GE-Free New Zealand members, many communities and growers around the country are alarmed over the Environment Minister Amy Adams plans to remove any capacity for Councils and communities to safeguard their region.

The issue of GE commercialisation in New Zealand has raised extreme concern and the Minister has signaled the willingness to 'socialise the risk' of GE on communities.

"The plan to block Council protection will destroy their capacity to pursue regional development strategies for organic and GM-free exports. It is a direct threat to the economy and the livelihoods of people across New Zealand," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"Councils have been looking at how to moderate the GE-industry's extreme risk-taking and hold them financially liable for the damage. Overseas the industry has caused economic and environmental degradation that the Royal Commission on GM found are totally unacceptable in New Zealand."

The Minister's intention to override the spirit of the Royal Commission on GM, that allows for exclusion of GE crops from districts where they would cause a threat to the farming environment.[1,2], could set New Zealand back a decade by re-igniting the protests and community outrage that led to the moratorium on GM and the Royal Commission in the first place.

Councils' policy and plan development have been backed by the previous Minister Nick Smith's written advice to local government and by legal opinions from Dr. Royden Somerville QC specifying, “Councils could determine policy regarding precaution and/or prohibition under their policy with regard to GMOS.” [3,4,5]

The RMA* and HSNO** Act both allow for more stringent controls to be be placed by Councils in order to protect rate payers and growers from harm and can ensure users of GMOs are held responsible for damage when things go wrong.The High Court has also recognised that RMA obligations can go beyond the provisions of the HSNO Act. [6,7]

But now the Minister is proposing to block this capacity and impose a "one-size-fits-all' approach, effectively caving in to lobbying from vested interests in the biotechnology industry including companies like Monsanto.

Of major concern is the real risk that under trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the EPA will be compromised in its duty to protect New Zealand.

"Unless Councils have the power to respond to the wishes of New Zealanders to preserve their capacity for GE-free production, the outcome could see our commercial GE-free advantage in export markets destroyed," says Claire Bleakely, president of GE-free NZ.

"Councils must have policy in place for their communities to to take on the responsibilities of a full commercial release which is no longer under an EPA controls. Community submissions have given them a mandate and a moral duty to develop a precautionary policy on GE use"says Claire Bleakley.

“There is now strong evidence of harm from international use of GE, and the threat is throughout the food chain from field to plate. The Government approved DDT and we are still seeing deformities in animals grazing the land as well as not being able to export meat because of the levels of DDT."

The “gone by Christmas” mantra, shows that the Minister has not read the law and may be working to an agenda that goes against the majority of New Zealanders who understand the importance of being a GE-Free exporting nation and are proud of it."

References:

[1] Science New Zealand Supports National GMO Regulation http://parliament.newsroom.co.nz/stories/science-new-zealand-supports-national-gmo-regulation

[2] The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification 2001 recommendation 13.1 stated that the methodology for implementing the Hazardous substances and New Organisms Act should ‘ Allow for specified categories of GM crops to be excluded from districts where their presence would be a significant threat to a established non GMO crop use.’

[3] Part 2: Regional Policy Statement http://unitaryplan.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Images/Printable%20PDFs/Part%202%20-%20Regional%20Policy%20Statement%20FULL.pdf

[4]Sustainably Managing our Natural Resources http://unitaryplan.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Images/Printable%20PDFs/RPS/2.6%20Sustainably%20managing%20our%20natural%20resources.pdf

[5]Community Management of GMO’s III http://www.wdc.govt.nz/PlansPoliciesandBylaws/Plans/Genetic-Engineering/Documents/GE-Reports/Community-Management-of-GMOs-III.pdf

[6] *Resource Management Act (RMA) sec: 32.

[7] **Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO) Section 5,6,7 and 142

[8] http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20130627.htm

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news