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

 

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news