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

 


TPP negotiators should drop opposition to data protection

New Zealand TPP negotiators should drop opposition to data protection

New Zealand negotiators wanting to make progress in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks could start by dropping their opposition to data protection.

“Of the 12 countries negotiating the TPP, it appears that only New Zealand and Vietnam are playing hardball opposing a clause which supports 10 years of data protection for new crop protection products,” said Graeme Peters, chief executive of Agcarm.

New Zealand's minority view was revealed on page 44 of a document released today by wikileaks at:
http://wikileaks.org/tpp/static/pdf/Wikileaks-secret-TPP-treaty-IP-chapter.pdf

“It's hard to understand why New Zealand opposes 10 years of data protection when nearly all other TPP countries appear to be comfortable with its inclusion in the negotiating text in some form or other,” Mr Peters said.

“Ten years of data protection will increase the availability of modern technology for farmers and growers, boosting yields and profitability,” Mr Peters said.

Ten to 15 years of data protection is common in other developed countries and is particularly important in New Zealand because it is a small market.

“New Zealand currently has five years protection for new agrichemicals. Agcarm has seen numerous examples of off-patent products which will not be registered for sale in New Zealand because suppliers cannot assemble a business case to support registering them. Equally, companies are reluctant to invest in researching New Zealand solutions to New Zealand pest and disease control problems.”

“The availability of new technology has been made more urgent by the Environmental Protection Authority recently phasing out approvals of about 30 older technologies in coming years,” Mr Peters said.

When the Ministry for Primary Industries called for submissions on data protection in 2012 it received a strong message to increase it to 10 years.

Out of 24 submissions on the topic, 19 supported 10 years of data protection or close to it. Only five supported the continuation of the five years protection which is the position adopted by New Zealand negotiators.

Those supporting 10 years data protection included associations representing New Zealand grower groups, including Horticulture New Zealand. A summary of submission is here:

http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/consultation-data-protection/summary-submissions-data-protection.pdf

“Behind this support is the knowledge that New Zealand must give businesses a decent go at generating a return on the high cost of launching a newagrichemical to control emerging pests and diseases without affecting beneficial species or persisting in the environment,” Mr Peters said.

“There is widespread industry support for data protection. Agcarm encourages negotiators to accept 10 years of data protection and concentrate their considerable skills on more important clauses which are delaying this important trade deal,” Mr Peters said.

What is data protection?

Before any agrichemical is used in New Zealand, approval must be granted by two regulators: the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Environmental Protection Authority.

The approval process requires applicants to supply supporting information or data on a range of product features including chemistry, manufacture, toxicology, efficacy, and likelihood of residues remaining after use.

This package of data supplied in support of an application represents a significant investment – costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to assemble.

In some cases, this data is not protected from competitors. Consequently, they can produce identical products and obtain regulatory approval by the relevant regulator cross referencing the data provided by the original applicant without having to incur the cost of producing the data.

Why should it be protected?

Greater protection would give a greater incentive to bring new technologies into New Zealand. These technologies are safer and more effective forms of chemical or biological compounds, or new ways for existing products to be used. To remain competitive, New Zealand agriculture needs to access the latest innovations in crop science and crop protection. In summary, data protection is an incentive for suppliers and manufacturers to invest in new solutions for growers and farmers.

What is Agcarm?

Agcarm is the industry association for companies which make and sell crop protection products and veterinary medicines.

Graeme Peters

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

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

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. 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>>

 

Parliament Today:

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:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." 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:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news