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

 


Leader's Vision Is a Threat to Farmers' Future

Leader's Vision Is a Threat to Farmers' Future


The appointment of Dr. William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers, and of Ian McKenzie and Anders Crowfoot to the Board [1], signals that the direction has been set toward introduction of the environmentally devastating technology that is GE farming.

Dr. Rolleston has worked his way up from being the public advocate for the Life Sciences Network, through the funding arm of the Science and Innovation Board, to become leader of Federated Farmers.

There are fears that 'the man for Monsanto' is now president of the organisation and will push his vision of releasing GMOs in New Zealand with the argument that this will allow "farmers to choose".

The reality experienced overseas is that GMO contamination spreads through the system with the effect of denying farmers and consumers any choice.

The attempt to have GE crops "coexist" with other farming approaches has led to contamination of non-GE seed stocks, increased weed and pest devastation, and harm to soil ecosystems, water and non-target insects.

The global supply of soy is a case in point, where even organic and non-GE identity-preserved production is constantly under threat from the spread of GE soy.

"Last year's study by The McGuiness Institute shows that the millions spent on the GE route has not benefited New Zealand farmers," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ. (2)

"The report says New Zealand's best option is to restore a moratorium on environmental release of GMOs. Federated Farmers should heed that advice if it really has the interests of the farming community at heart."

“The farming sector is under great pressure to fulfil the supply demand from national and international markets. Research into sustainable and organic farming systems has almost been shut down. The Biological Husbandry Unit in Lincoln is seriously underfunded, yet AgResearch has spent over 25% of its budget on genetically engineering forage plants for a market that does not want to go down the GE path," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

"Funding for research that is directly relevant to sustainability, safe GE-free food and the livelihoods of the farming community must be the strategic focus."
The only light in the election of Dr. Rolleston is the fact he is not just pro-GE but also claims to be pro-science (3). The science to date has shown that genetically engineered farming and foods have caused increased environmental risks, yield reductions, and contaminate other farming systems.
Dr. Rolleston's recent praise for Argentina's use of GE crops ignores the darker side of what has happened to families who work and live in fields adjacent to GE farms.

Their experience has included reproductive failures, giving birth to deformed children and serious health problems.

We do not want any deterioration of our environment or food supply in New Zealand. The Government must ensure that the research focus is directed toward the gold standard of sustainable, safe agroecology. This is what consumers expect and our export markets demand.

New Zealand must protect its global point of difference as a producer of safe, clean, GE-Free food.

References:
(1) Introducing you to your new President & Board 7 July 2014 (Federated Farmers)
(2)http://mcguinnessinstitute.org/Site/Publications/Media_Releases_Home.aspx
(3) Could pro-GM lobbyist fracture Fed Farmers’ support? The National Business Review / June 27, 2014

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