Govt policy decisions show GE plans are on track
Government policy decisions indicate full steam ahead for GE. OIA requests refused.
decisions appear to support a US position on free trade in
GE foods as well as secrecy surrounding GE pharm crop
applications in NZ.
Recent OIA requests refused by government ministers indicate a relationship exists between trade and GE food imports that will significantly disadvantage consumers in New Zealand, and will inevitably mean the government will back down on commitments to protect consumer rights proposed by the Royal Commission on GM.
" There is real concern that if labelling products 'GM-Free' is seen by the US as a trade barrier, the New Zealand government seem willing to sacrifice it, despite the implications for our export- opportunities and people's basic right to eat GE-Free foods," says Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ ( in food and environment)
Amendments to laws such as the HSNO Act and RMA will also prevent the public accessing information on the whereabouts and types of GE crops. The opportunity for the public and independent scientists to scrutinise what is being done will be compromised to the detriment of good governance.
Government amendments are not subject to advice from the
Law Commission as to the extent to which they may contravene
the Human Rights Act.
“A portion of NZ scientists are keen to develop ‘pharm’ crops and patent life, but many others are concerned about the implications for human health, the environment and civil society," says Mr Carapiet. " Only recently the costs for a test for breast cancer were signalled by doctors as becoming prohibitive because of patents rules; where is the Public good in all this?" he says.
’It is alarming that the government is making the taxpayer pay for these controversial experiments which threaten our food security and environment, and for which cover has been refused by the commercial insurance industry.’
‘Recently the Australian CEO of the Ministry
of Environment Barry Carbon appears to have been brought in
by the New Zealand government to ensure the GE moratorium is
lifted . It is sad that these changes go ahead as the
government bows to industry and overseas governments,
despite strong public opinion in support of a GE Free status
for New Zealand's food and