Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Landmark court case on GE

Landmark court case on GE

26 November 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

One of the world’s oldest organic organisations is going to court to support caution on genetic engineering. The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand, founded in 1941, is leading a group of interested parties in support of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s precautionary approach to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in its Regional Policy Statement.

“We are advocating on behalf of our 3000 members, plus consumers and producers, both organic and conventional, who want a precautionary approach to GE,” said Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health. “Soil & Health is a not-for-profit organisation and we have received amazing support for this case in our recent appeal to members and supporters.”

The publicly owned Forest Research Institute, Scion, triggered the court case by appealing the Council’s inclusion of precautionary wording about GMOs. The case will be heard in the Environment Court in Tauranga on 28–29 November. Scion has received millions of taxpayer dollars to develop genetically engineered pine trees. It has a field trial at Rotorua, and approval to plant thousands of GE pine trees.

Five parties have joined the Council’s defence as Section 274 Parties (interested parties who originally made submissions to the Council on its Regional Policy Statement). They are Soil & Health, GE Free NZ (in Food and Environment), GE Free Northland and two individuals: John Sanderson and former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Karen Summerhays.

“Soil & Health supports the right of local bodies to manage any potential release of GMOs in their area,” said Thomson. “We are concerned that Environment Minister Amy Adams has signalled her intention to ban councils from being able to manage GMOs as a land-use issue in their regions, cities or districts. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has listened to community concerns and stated that they promote a precautionary approach to GMOs. They also acknowledge that current legislation may be inadequate to deal with potential adverse effects of GMOs in the region.”

“GMOs are incompatible with organic systems, and are not allowed in food or farming according to organic certification standards,” said Thomson. Overseas, there have been numerous farmers who have lost their GE-free or certified organic status because of contamination from GE crops. A well-known case was that of Percy Schmeiser in Canada, whose canola crop became contaminated by his neighbour’s GE canola; seed company Monsanto eventually settled out of court. In Western Australia, Steve Marsh lost organic certification for 70% of his farm when his oat and wheat crops became contaminated by a neighbour’s GE canola; a court case is pending.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>

 

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:

Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>

ALSO:

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels