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

 


Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?

Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?


The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some farmers, both organic and conventional, fear he may use his position to continue to promote the risky, unwanted and unnecessary technology.

“Markets the world over want clean, green, GE-free and organic food,” says Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health. “New Zealand is in the perfect position to satisfy this demand by remaining GE-free in our farming and environment. It’s not just organic farmers who want to stay GE-free; many other producers, such as Pure Hawkes Bay, recognise the advantages.”

Federated Farmers has to date said that farmers should have the right to choose how they farm. However in practice GE crops cannot coexist with GE-free crops.

“Once the genie is out of the bottle there is no putting it back in,” says Thomson. “Overseas experience shows crop contamination causes huge problems for GE-free farmers, such as loss of markets, loss of organic certification and court cases.”

Soil & Health deplores the fact that millions of dollars of New Zealand taxpayers’ money has been spent on GE experiments over the past two decades, with no benefits yet produced. GE crops planted overseas have led to more pesticides being used, the rise of resistant pests and ‘superweeds’, and no long-term increases in yields. Our public money should instead be spent on agricultural research that will benefit everyone: farmers and consumers, our health, economy and the environment.

“Farmers already have great systems and know-how – we don’t need GE,” says Thomson. “Organic and biological practices provide particular benefits such as excellent soil health and structure, animal health, biodiversity, drought-resistance and nutrient density, plus organic products are free from nasty chemicals.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news