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

 


High Court judgment emphasises need for review of GM law

High Court judgment hurts New Zealand Inc, emphasises need for review of GM law


A High Court judgment has highlighted the dire need for a review of out-of-date New Zealand law on genetic modification (GM) technology, said Graeme Peters, chief executive of Agcarm.

“Some aspects of the regulation of new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) 1996 are no longer relevant. They are seriously out of synch with international norms and stifle innovation in New Zealand,” Mr Peters said.

Based on an interpretation of the HSNO Act and its regulations, the judgment has serious implications because, in addition to curbing new breeding technologies, it might open generally accepted, safe, and long-established science to the cumbersome regulations covering GM organisms as defined under the Act, Mr Peters said.

Agcarm is an industry association with members at the forefront of technology development in the plant science industry. Agcarm supports a modern, science and evidence-based approach to regulation of technology – including GM - which examines the risks and sets appropriate controls based on these risks. Agcarm supports effective regulation but proactively identifies laws and regulation that are so onerous that they stop research, as is happening with GM in New Zealand.

New Zealand is already a backwater when it comes to GM innovation and extension, with not one approval for the release of a GM crop. Internationally, a record 175 million hectares - an area more than six times the total land area of New Zealand – of GM crops were grown globally in 2013,

“The government must act to repair the damage caused by the judgment, which says that the EPA must regulate technologies which speed up natural, targeted genetic changes in plant species to find new, beneficial varieties.

“Many of the foods we eat today are the result of natural genetic mutations that create new varieties which might be a different colour, bigger, sweeter, easy to peel, or have better resistance to pests and diseases. Carrots used to be small, thin, white, and spangled (divided), but through genetic improvement over centuries are now large, orange, smooth, and great to eat.

“New Zealand is now at odds with other countries which have examined the two technologies covered in the judgment. The United States, Australia, Germany, and the consensus of an international working group all found that varieties developed using the two particular techniques should not be classified as genetically modified organisms.”

The HSNO Act was written in the mid-1990s, before GM varieties were planted commercially in 1996. Since there has been huge change in the technologies and widespread adoption of GM foods such as maize, soy, canola, and rice, and fibres such as cotton.

“This is yet another blow for New Zealand science, which wanted to use the techniques to develop new species which would generate export receipts for New Zealand or protect the environment. Instead, the judgment is another reason for scientists to end their research and pursue opportunities overseas,” Mr Peters said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news