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

 


New Zealand under scrutiny on WORLD FOOD DAY

New Zealand under scrutiny on WORLD FOOD DAY

New Zealand must protect its export reputation and environment by recognising the value of our grass fed animals and GE free food production in the world market.

It is vital to maintain our point of difference and counter threats to our export future coming from trade deals that promote and even enforce lower standards and bad farming practices.

World Food Day is a time when the issue of safe food is in the limelight, yet New Zealand is poised to trade away our marketing advantage for a “no holds barred” agricultural deal under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The threat is not just to our capacity to market clean safe GE-free food but to the integrity of the food system, including access to seeds.

Our seeds are essential to agriculture and to supporting life but farmers face restrictions on what they can buy, and may be forced to grow genetically engineered plants. The control of seed companies in the US has already dramatically reduced options for farmers even as GE crops are proving to be deleterious to production and health.

Good nutrition depends on healthy diets, which in turn require healthy food systems. Healthy food systems are made possible by appropriate policies, incentives and governance, and it is these controls that will be lost under the TPPA.

"Healthy diets are diverse, containing a balanced and adequate combination of energy and nutrients", said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"It is not in the region's long term interests if the TPPA works against having a stronger focus on nutrient dense foods and diversification of small farms combined with nutrition education to help consumers choose healthier diets."

There is clear evidence that corporate agriculture has increased soil degradation and energy use. Agricultural chemicals and GE plants produced by the same companies have contaminated land, water and seed stocks. Chemicals like Round-Up, which are associated with over 80 of the GE foods being grown, have been shown by studies to negatively impact nutrient levels that are needed to sustain health.

As well as nutrient deficiency, tests in 2013 showed that GE corn contained dangerously high levels of formaldehyde. This toxin was not tested for by the applicants wanting approval for their products and Food Standards New Zealand (FSANZ) did not assess the toxin. Round-Up resistant crops also chelate minerals. Much of the food produced by genetic engineering has reduced micronutrients, especially minerals.

New Zealand must follow its own path to build a resilient and sustainable future for agriculture.

Heritage varieties of vegetable and fruits have higher nutritional benefits. Bio-dynamic farming methods build healthy soils without added chemical use. Conversion of urine, manures, waste food and vegetation into soil-building compost increases productivity.

New Zealand must preserve its GE Free food production systems which do not suffer from these micronutrient deficiencies and will support better health, fewer child deaths and an increased future potential.

www.gefree.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news