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

Bullish On China Shopping: Trade Minister On Premier's Visit

Q+A: Trade Minister Todd McClay – not ruling out a conversation around Chinese workers coming to New Zealand to work on infrastructure projects as part of trade talks:

‘Yeah, well, that’s not something that’s on the table at the moment, but, look, what we’ve agreed as part of the, you know, when we start the upgrade negotiation, both sides can raise issues that are of importance to them. We’ve got a list of things we want to talk about. China may well have.’ More>>

 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news