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

 

More than 16,000 New Zealanders Say 'No' to Ge Trees

13 August 2017 Media Release

More than 16,000 New Zealanders Say 'No' to Ge Trees

Pressure on the Ministry for Primary Industries over the last two years has resulted in MPI removing controversial clause 6.4 (GE trees) from the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry.

The new NES-PF (1) gives foresters, councils, and communities clear guidelines on how to protect the environment while achieving a sustainable forestry industry.

GE Free Northland welcomes the removal of the clause that would have permitted the planting of GE trees anywhere in NZ and specifically overriden any precautionary or prohibitive GE policies and rules of local councils (including those of Northland and Auckland).

“We are pleased MPI has listened to the many thousands of submitters who have called for the removal of the controversial clause,” said Martin Robinson, spokesperson for GE Free Northland.

"Despite the ongoing push by the National Party for risky outdoor GE experiments and releases (including the unsuccessful recent attempt by Minister Nick Smith to destroy our valuable enforceable GE Free Zones (2) by amending the RMA), MPI backed down in the face of 16,000+ submissions opposing the GE tree clause. MPI states in their analysis (point 3.6.2) that “… it is not appropriate for GM tree stock to be included as a permitted activity in an NES.” (3)

"GE trees, if introduced, would have greatly increased the risk of transgenic contamination. Ordinary pine pollen travels hundreds of kilometres even at moderate wind speeds, thousands of kilometres with stronger winds. (4). Pine pollen causes allergies, gets into waterways, and is even found in the ocean at depths of more than 10,000 metres," noted Mr. Robinson. (5)

"Both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), global certification bodies for truly sustainable forestry, do not allow GE trees in their certified forests, due to the serious ecological risks and their commitment to the precautionary principle" said Robinson.(6)

"We have enough invasive weeds already without creating genetically engineered, herbicide resistant wilding pines. Growers who have gone to the trouble and expense of obtaining FSC or PEFC certification in NZ should not have their valuable enterprises threatened by risky outdoor use of GMOs."

“The eleventh hour insertion by MPI of proposed clause 6.4, which would have allowed GE trees, was of concern to not only the NZ Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA), Forest and Bird, and Fish & Game but for a huge number of submitters. It is extremely important to communities in New Zealand to keep our environment GE-free,” said Mr Robinson.

GE Free Northland thanks all the councils from Auckland to Cape Reinga, Hastings District Council, and all Tai Tokerau Iwi authorities, for putting in place a much needed additional tier of local protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs.

This local protection is necessary given serious deficiencies in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act, as identified by Local Government NZ, many councils, mana whenua, and primary producer boards. ENDS

http://web.gefreenorthland.org.nz/press-releases/ge-free-northland/00202-more-than-16000-new-zealanders-say-no-to-ge-trees

References:

[1] www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2017/0174/latest/whole.html#DLM7371050

www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-producing/forestry/overview/national-environmental-standards-for-plantation-forestry/

(2) "Progress for GM Free Zones" 5 April 2017 Pure Hawkes Bay Media release

http://purehawkesbay.org/win-for-gm-free-regions/

(3)Report on submissions and recommendations, 3.6.2 and 3.6.2, page 31

www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/19136

(4) pine pollen drift

Williams, C. G. (2010). Long-distance pine pollen still germinates after meso-scale dispersal.American Journal of Botany 97(5): 1-11. DOI: 10.3732/ajb.0900255

An up-to-date study undertaken in India established pollen drift over 600 kilometres:

Singh, G. et. al., "Pollen-Rain from Vegetation of Northwest India." New Physiologist, 72, 1993, pp. 191-206.

(5) "NZ pine pollen found 11,000m under the sea" (21 April 2017 Newshub)

www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/04/nz-pine-pollen-found-11-000m-under-the-sea.html

(6) "Use of genetically modified organisms shall be prohibited"- Criterion 6.8 of Forest Stewardship Council's Principles and Criteria.

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)

PEFC- 4.2 Guidelines for Forest Management Practices

"Genetically modified trees shall not be used"

Further background information on the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (released on 10 August 2017)

www.gefree.org.nz/central-and-local-government-submissions/


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election