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A High Court judgment has highlighted the dire need for a review of out-of-date New Zealand law on genetic modification (GM) technology, said Graeme Peters, chief executive of Agcarm.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

 

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Apparently He Means 'Years 0-8': Seymour Announces 4th Partnership Schools Application Round

“The continuing growth of this policy reflects the achievement of the eight existing Partnership Schools, and the strong levels of interest educators and community leaders are showing in the Partnership Schools model and what it offers students and their families,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

Trust Directors: Urban Māori Win Case Against Te Ohu Kai Moana

The National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA) and Te Waipareira Trust have succeeded in their claim over a $20 million trust set up for the benefit of urban Māori, meaning all directors of the trust must represent Māori who are not affiliated with an iwi. More>>

New Model: Carbon Tax Could Lower Emissions And Boost Economy

A carbon tax targeting emissions-intensive industries, along with a revamped Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), could boost economic growth, with the extra tax generated used to cut GST from 15 percent to 12.5 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Budget Docs Release: ACC Sought $158mn In Budget 2016, Got $26.4mn

The Accident Compensation Commission requested an extra $158 million in funding for 2016/17 from the government ahead of Budget 2016, but Treasury instead recommended an interim payment of just $26.4 million be funded to tackle demographic changes, papers published by the government show. More>>

ALSO:

Submissions Sought: Māori Party Joins Opposition Housing Inquiry

People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news