Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


New German GMO Liability Law Carries Lessons to NZ

New German GMO Liability Law Carries Lessons for NZ

Sustainability Council Media Statement
3 July 2006

Germany's approach to setting new GMO liability law provides an important example for New Zealand, states a paper released today by the Sustainability Council.

The German Government has sought to explicitly allocate liability for the financial risks arising from the cultivation of GMOs and to protect non-GM farmers. This is in sharp contrast to New Zealand's law that leaves major gaps and implicitly allocates risk and costs to innocent parties.

New Zealand law specific to GMOs imposes strict liability only if an activity is carried out contrary to an ERMA approval. There is no statutory liability for damage arising from unexpected effects or inadequate regulatory control of known risks.

Internationally, liability law is emerging as the crux issue for regulation of GMO cultivation. Wider recognition of the costs and difficulties involved in keeping GM crops separate from conventional plantings have reinforced the importance of a clear allocation of liability.

Austria and Norway were early leaders in establishing a strict liability standard for damage arising from GMOs in the mid 1990s. More recent reviews by the Governments of Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have also determined that conventional farmers should not bear the costs of GMO contamination.

Germany's recently revised law addresses key issues for non-GM farmers, including:
• Details of any GMO planting must be made available in advance on a publicly accessible register;
• There is no requirement for harm to have been foreseeable for a claim to succeed;
• Following "good practice" (for example, efforts by GM adopters to limit the flow of GMOs beyond the farm boundary) is of itself not a defence.

A second stage of law reform, including the proposed creation of a compensation fund, is scheduled to proceed during the northern summer.

Germany's Liability Law for GMO Cultivation was written by Anja Gerdung and commissioned by the Sustainability Council in order to provide a clear English language description of the influential German law reforms.

The report is available at:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news