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

 


Local Regulation of Outdoor Use of GMOs On the Rise in NZ

11 February 2014

Local Regulation of Outdoor Use of GMOs On the Rise in NZ

Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Northland Regional Council and various territorial authorities in NZ are taking action on a local level to support the creation of a much needed additional tier of protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs.

An important Environment Court decision has upheld the right of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in its Regional Policy Statement (RPS), to include a precautionary statement on GMOs. This legal precedent will assist member councils of the Northland/ Auckland "Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options' as they progress their collaborative Plan change to ban all GMO releases and make EPA approved outdoor GE experiments a Discretionary activity.

Scion, a NZ Crown Research Institute involved in risky outdoor experimentation in Rotorua with GE pine trees, opposed the precautionary GE wording in the BOPRC proposed RPS.

Given the serious risks of transgenic pollution from Scion's GE pine tree experiments (pine pollen can spread hundreds of kilometres even at moderate wind speeds) GE Free Northland became a section 274 party in support of Bay of Plenty Regional Council, joining the Soil & Health Association, GE Free NZ and a former Bay of Plenty Regional councillor.

Soil & Health, which has advocated for a GE-free New Zealand on behalf of its members and supporters for many years, took the lead role among five section 274 (interested) parties to the court case.

"It is of concern that a NZ Crown Research Institute is not only using NZ taxpayer dollars for risky outdoor GE experiments, but used taxpayer money to try and shut down the community voice in Bay of Plenty. Our members concerns about Scion's GE activities have only increased after reported compliance breaches by Scion of the consent conditions for the field trial," said GE Free Northland Chairperson Zelka Grammer.

"We are pleased that the decision supports the inclusion of a precautionary approach to the outdoor use of GMOs in an RMA planning document. The Court also indicated in its decision that the Council may propose more directive regulation in the future, including objectives, policies and rules.

The decision has given Councils the right to place policies and rules around GMO land use activities on their patch. Councils can now be proactive in identifying emerging issues that require a precautionary approach to protect their people, local environment, economic well being, and the public health.

"It is critical that farmers and other ratepayers all over the country are able to have a say on land-use issues in their region, especially when the livelihood and economic well being of existing non GM primary producers are under threat from the risks of new technologies like GMOs," said Ms. Grammer.

An additional layer of regulation against outdoor use of GMOs is necessary given the failure by central government to address serious deficiencies in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act, as identified by Local Government NZ, the Northland/ Auckland "Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options" and other councils around the country.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news