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

 

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs


The Environment Court decision recently released [1] has upheld the right for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in its Regional Policy statement, to place wording for a precautionary approach to be taken on the growing of genetically modified (GMO) crops in the region. It also has given Councils the right, after the appropriate processes have been fulfilled; to place policies and rules around the GMO land use activities, if they are deemed to be of regional significance by the community. Councils can now be forward thinking by identifying emerging issues that require a precautionary approach to protect their people, local environment and economic wellbeing.

The Rotorua based Crown Research Institute (CRI), Scion, who are developing genetically engineered pine trees with altered reproductive traits and resistance to herbicide applications, challenged the Regional Council wording and sought to remove any reference to GMO’s in the preamble of the Regional Policy statement. After two rounds of mediation there was no consensus achieved, the case against the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and five 274 parties went to a one day hearing in the Environment Court, Tauranga. GE Free NZ were one of five 274 parties who presented witness statements on behalf of their members in the region.

“We are very pleased with the Environment Court decision and welcome the protection and precaution it signals to all rate paying communities. It is fundamental to democracy that farmers and residents all over the country are able to have a say on land-use issues in their region, especially when livelihoods and economic wellbeing are under threat from unknown risks of new technologies like GMO’s,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

“There were two attempts at mediation, but Scion refused to accept the wording put forward. We believe that it was unprincipled for the CRI to use the taxpayer’s money to try and shut down the community voice in this way."

Minister for the Environment Amy Adams has said she will change the Resource Management Act (RMA) to disallow any ruling on genetically modified organisms by councils, arguing that such a ruling was the place of the central government under the Hazardous Substance and New Organisms Act (HSNO). However the Environment Court has noted that it was a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM)[2] that Councils, through the RMA could place land-use designations for genetically modified organisms.

"We would like to thank our lawyers for their excellent arguments, the 274 parties and our supporters" said Mrs. Bleakley “As the Royal Commission highlighted, if GMO risks are left unaddressed community conflict over GMO contamination could destroy good neighbourliness, as is being seen in the pending "Steve Marsh" court case [3] in Australia starting on the 10th February".

References:

[1] Decision on ENV-2013-AKL-146 NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd (Scion) v Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 18 Dec 2013 http://www.gefree.org.nz/ge-free-court-actions/

[2] Royal Commission on Genetic Modification Chapter 13 – Major Conclusions: preserving opportunities. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/organisms/royal-commission-gm/chapter-13.pdf

[3] http://gmo-food.theglobalmail.org/steve-marsh-bad-seeds

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Science Advisors: Stopping Family Violence – The Evidence

A new report “Every 4 minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand” by Justice sector Chief Science Advisor, Dr Ian Lambie, discusses the evidence and asks us, as a community, to get involved...

Dr Lambie says family violence is widespread and goes on behind closed doors in all suburbs, affects the childhoods of many New Zealanders, and disturbs adult and family relationships. More>>

 

Conflicts, Inadequacies: IPCA Finds Police Investigation Flawed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police investigation into inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student in Gisborne in 2014 was deficient in several respects. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference Multimedia: Grace Millane, ACC Levy Hold, Absent Execs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her Monday post-cabinet press conference with an emotional comment on the murder of English backpacker Grace Millane. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). More>>

ALSO:

Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels