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 The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news