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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news