Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Green Party Says ERMA Canola Decision Is Weak

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) decision today on genetically engineered canola field trials in the South Island is so weak that it is almost meaningless, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

After official concern that pollen or seed from at least one of the trails could have escaped into the environment, and after months of ERMA talk about what it might do, the authority has now asked the genetic engineers to continue in-house monitoring.

"I am astounded that so little is being done about such a high risk to the environment," Ms Fitzsimons said. "ERMA should stand aside and allow a neutral process such as my suggested Royal commission of enquiry to take over. We also need an urgent moratorium on such tests."

The ERMA decision comes after the Sunday Star-Times reported in April that a crown research institute trial using genetically modified canola could have spread into the surrounding environment.

Genetically engineered canola was field tested between November 1996 and November 1997 at Dromore in Canterbury and St Andrews, South Canterbury by Crop and Food Research, the same government agency which has been placing African clawed toad genes in potatoes.

In April ERMA chief executive Bas Walker was quoted in the Sunday Star-Times saying: "The netting used to cover the crop developed holes at one point which posed a risk of escape from containment".

The Crop and Food trials and several others were approved by the Environment Minister under a voluntary regime before ERMA was set up last year. The approvals required the sites to be monitored after the crops were harvested, in case any further canola plants appeared.

"The latest decision amounts to one government agency letting another agency (Crop and Food Research) off the hook," Ms Fitzsimons said. "In recent months British scientists have discovered their first hybrid 'superweeds' after the spread of pollen from a genetically engineered English canola trial crop to wild turnip plants. Some of these wild plants have inherited their g-e parent's herbicide-resistant genes and were able to breed," she said. "The discovery comes after Scottish research work found canola pollen 4km from the nearest plant.

"Rather than continue in-house and previously unreliable monitoring we need to know urgently whether genetically engineered pollen or seed has already escaped and a proper assessment of environmental risks."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 

Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>


Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>


CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>


National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels