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Have Your Say On Field Trials

GE-FREE NZ (in food and environment)

HAVE YOUR SAY: new application to ERMA: Field trials of GE broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale WRITE TO ERMA: Oppose application GMF06001 DEADLINE: 12 December 2006

Have Your Say On Field Trials

Crop & Food Research in the South Island have applied to ERMA (the Environmental Risk Management Authority) to spend taxpayers' money on a 10-year field-trial of Genetically Engineered brassicas. The plants will have genes spliced from bacteria and viruses, including 'Bt' (Bacillus thuringiensis) which can kill some insects. You can see the application to field-trial these Bt crops at

If successful the trial will lead to GE plants that. . contaminate conventional crops, soil and honey . destroy people's right to grow and buy GE-free food . cause insects to develop resistance and become even more of a problem

Some points you can make:

1) The GE crops being developed could never be used commercially without causing widespread GE contamination of other crops and honey. This is unacceptable to the community

2) Contamination will destroy people's right to buy GE-free food and threatens our economy because of loss of exports to overseas markets

3) The community will not benefit from development of Bt crops resistant to some insects as they can only be effective short-term and are not sustainable. As insects become resistant they will be even more of a problem for farmers

4) Communities face paying higher Council rates because of costs for clean-up, compensation and dealing with insect pests that have become resistant

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5) Public money should not be wasted on GE products which the majority of New Zealanders (67% in recent surveys) do not want. The funds should be used for other research

6) The trial undermines public confidence in the direction and regulation of gene science. The community expects research to be sustainable, and to respect our shared values

7) ERMA should not approve GE plants containing antibiotic-resistant marker genes which can add to existing problems in controlling disease. Other evidence of health impacts from Bt crops on people and animals must also be properly studied before the application is even considered

Email: 1

Fax: 04 914 0433.

Post: ERMA NZ, PO Box 131, Wellington, 6140

Include: Your name, address, telephone/ fax, Why you oppose field trial GMF06001. Also say if you want to be invited to speak at a hearing For more information:

Problems with this GE crop trial :

Early resistance by pests (which has already occurred overseas) - Fast spread of GE brassicas and interbreeding -Contamination of GE free crops (conventional, pesticide-reduced ( IPM) and organic) - Loss of markets through contamination of honey, crops and NZ's clean green image -Human and animal health risks

Organic and conventional producers can use natural Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and careful use has maintained its benefit without pest resistance. Organic and GMO free producers' markets demand products free of GMO contamination. Current Bt use poses little risk to humans or stock as the toxin only reaches the pest caterpillar's gut.

The use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in genetically engineered crops elsewhere has shown an early build-up of resistance in pest insects, resulting in the loss of a safe and important tool for many farmers. GMO Bt poses risks as the toxin is in every cell of the GM crop, including that eaten by consumers, and also the pollen and roots.

Brassica pollen travels large distances, and brassicas cross easily with dozens of wild and cultivated cousins. GMO brassicas are a risky proposition and central government (despite efforts by local authorities and Local Government NZ to persuade them to do so) has failed to provide a strict liability regime to ensure that those that wish to experiment with GMOs will be held financially accountable for any "unintended" or unforseen adverse impacts on other farmers, consumers or the environment.

More info:

Notification of Application Receipt

Application code: GMF06001 Application category: Field Test in Containment any Genetically Modified Organism under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 Applicant: New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Limited Applicant contact: Mary Christey Purpose: To assess agronomic performance, in the Lincoln region, over 10 years of vegetable and forage brassicas, specifically cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, modified for resistance to caterpillar pests like cabbage white butterfly and diamond-back moth Date application received: 30 October 2006 Submission period: 31 October 2006 - 12 December 2006 ERMA New Zealand contact: Jenny Khoo

ERMA New Zealand has received the above application for approval to Field Test in Containment any New Organism in which you may have an interest. ERMA New Zealand considers that the application contains adequate information to proceed with processing.

Please find enclosed the application summary. The full application can be viewed at ERMA New Zealand's website or a copy can be obtained from our office by request.

The date of public notification is 31 October 2006. The public submission period closes on 12 December 2006, 30 working days after public notification.

The brochure from our Quick Guide series on Making a Submission can be downloaded from our website ( or we will send a copy on request. Submissions may be made in writing or by email ( or by using our on-line submission form, which can be downloaded from our web-site (

Submissions must include the following information:

The name of the organisation represented, a contact person, and contact details (ie postal address, telephone number, facsimile number and email address (if applicable)). Written submissions must be signed and dated. However, submissions received by email or via our on-line submission form will be accepted without signature. Details of the application for which you are making the submission (including application code). Your submission, with reasons. What decision you seek (optional). Whether or not you wish to be heard (ie at a public hearing) in support of your submission. Please note that submitters must meet their own costs (including travel) of attending a public hearing. The date and location of any hearing will not be finalised until after the submission period closes. ERMA New Zealand must give submitters 10 working days notice of the hearing date and location.

Your submission should include all of the points that you wish to make, and include any supporting reasons and information. If there is to be a public hearing on the application, the time available for each submitter to speak to their submission may be limited. Submitters are expected to summarise and highlight key parts of their submission at the hearing and to answer any questions arising. Submitters should not expect to substantially augment their submissions with additional information at the hearing, unless it has been circulated to ERMA New Zealand and other attending parties at least 5 days beforehand.

All submissions will be considered by the Authority, regardless of whether or not you present your submission at a public hearing.


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