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

 


EPA Failure Still Leaves Exporters In Firing Line

EPA Failure Still Leaves Exporters In Firing Line

New Zealand's exporters remain in the firing line despite The Sustainability Council winning its appeal against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to allow Scion (Forest Research Institute) to use unregulated novel genetic engineering techniques to produce GE trees.

The decision casts doubt on the level of the expertise the Authority has in protecting the environment and people of New Zealand.
The decision also increases the risk that companies with vested interests to release GMOs will use the decision as an excuse to dismantle legal protections.

It is vital for New Zealand to resist companies who lobby to downgrade our biosecurity and food safety laws. Instead we need to learn from the history of scientific failures, and longterm problems that can result from commercial pressures to rush to market at any cost.

As Simon Terry Executive director of the Sustainability Council highlighted on Radio New Zealand, the Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN-1) and Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) techniques are so new that the health and environmental effects have not been fully understood, nor the long-term risks evaluated.
Scion is wrong to try to circumvent regulation or to demand current GM legislation be weakened by raising the old bogeyman of New Zealand 'being left behind' if we do not slavishly adopt practices accepted in some countries overseas.
On the contrary, The High Court case supports strengthening laws to preserve our valuable GM-free status and to position Brand New Zealand at the forefront of precaution, conservation and responsible application of technologies. This will ensure our products are produced ethically and sustainably and continue to appeal around the world.
“Far from the EPA taking a precautionary approach to protect our exports that are thriving thanks to New Zealand’s reputation as producer of safe, GE-free food, the EPA gambled on an industry-friendly liberalization of regulation,” says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
"The High Court found the EPA was wrong, but the case suggests real risks to the future of New Zealand from a cavalier attitude within the EPA and from some sectors of industry seeking to destroy the integrity of the legislation."
Scion's attitude suggests they would willingly put New Zealand at the 'bleeding edge' of experimental technologies, the status of which have not been considered by other countries. There is also concern that leaders within Federated Farmers (2) are seeking to promote GMOs and overturn local government protections for regional growers and communities(3). The government is also proposing to prohibit local government protections and oversight for outdoor use of GMOs, by changing the Resource Management Act (RMA).
The fact that the government has appointed industry leaders with strong pro-GE agendas to positions of influence on committees dealing with government investment suggests they are quietly pushing GM release in New Zealand.(4)

“It is of concern that the Authority overruled its own staff and maintained its tradition of never declining a GM application, in this case deciding to allow unregulated use of novel GE techniques,” said Claire Bleakley president of GE Free NZ.

“Scion may not like it, but The High Court decision is in the interests of all New Zealand - our farmers, environment, consumers and our international partners.”

The preservation of New Zealand's biosecurity and existing valuable GE-free status must be at the heart of decision-making.

1) High Court Judgment of Justice Mallon
www.sustainabilitynz.org/high-court-prevents-developers-from-bypassing-gm-laws/
2) Fed Farmers leaders GE agenda http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/9939953/GM-in-NZ-on-farming-leaders-agenda
3) Fed Farmers appeal opposing Northland Regional Policy GM stand http://organicnz.org.nz/node/777
4) Dr Rolleston appointed to committees http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/2384112/Rolleston-appointed-to-foundation
http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20110112.htm

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

No Voda/Sky: Commission Declines Clearance For Merger

The Commerce Commission has declined to grant clearance for the proposed merger of Sky Network Television and Vodafone New Zealand.

The Commission’s assessment focused on the impact of the proposed merger on competition in both the broadband and mobile telecommunications markets. To grant clearance, the Commission would need to be satisfied that the proposed merger would not be likely to substantially lessen competition in any market in New Zealand. More>>

 

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news