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

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing:
John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider.

The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.

It was hard work but in the end we kept more than 300 skilled and well-paid jobs in New Zealand. And we managed to benefit Air New Zealand and its workforce with productivity gains too... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news