Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs


The Environment Court decision recently released [1] has upheld the right for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in its Regional Policy statement, to place wording for a precautionary approach to be taken on the growing of genetically modified (GMO) crops in the region. It also has given Councils the right, after the appropriate processes have been fulfilled; to place policies and rules around the GMO land use activities, if they are deemed to be of regional significance by the community. Councils can now be forward thinking by identifying emerging issues that require a precautionary approach to protect their people, local environment and economic wellbeing.

The Rotorua based Crown Research Institute (CRI), Scion, who are developing genetically engineered pine trees with altered reproductive traits and resistance to herbicide applications, challenged the Regional Council wording and sought to remove any reference to GMO’s in the preamble of the Regional Policy statement. After two rounds of mediation there was no consensus achieved, the case against the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and five 274 parties went to a one day hearing in the Environment Court, Tauranga. GE Free NZ were one of five 274 parties who presented witness statements on behalf of their members in the region.

“We are very pleased with the Environment Court decision and welcome the protection and precaution it signals to all rate paying communities. It is fundamental to democracy that farmers and residents all over the country are able to have a say on land-use issues in their region, especially when livelihoods and economic wellbeing are under threat from unknown risks of new technologies like GMO’s,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

“There were two attempts at mediation, but Scion refused to accept the wording put forward. We believe that it was unprincipled for the CRI to use the taxpayer’s money to try and shut down the community voice in this way."

Minister for the Environment Amy Adams has said she will change the Resource Management Act (RMA) to disallow any ruling on genetically modified organisms by councils, arguing that such a ruling was the place of the central government under the Hazardous Substance and New Organisms Act (HSNO). However the Environment Court has noted that it was a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM)[2] that Councils, through the RMA could place land-use designations for genetically modified organisms.

"We would like to thank our lawyers for their excellent arguments, the 274 parties and our supporters" said Mrs. Bleakley “As the Royal Commission highlighted, if GMO risks are left unaddressed community conflict over GMO contamination could destroy good neighbourliness, as is being seen in the pending "Steve Marsh" court case [3] in Australia starting on the 10th February".

References:

[1] Decision on ENV-2013-AKL-146 NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd (Scion) v Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 18 Dec 2013 http://www.gefree.org.nz/ge-free-court-actions/

[2] Royal Commission on Genetic Modification Chapter 13 – Major Conclusions: preserving opportunities. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/organisms/royal-commission-gm/chapter-13.pdf

[3] http://gmo-food.theglobalmail.org/steve-marsh-bad-seeds

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Welcoming The Major Health Reforms

Usually “reform” of government agencies is a cost cutting exercise in disguise, but this morning’s revision of the health system looks totally different. These reforms amount to the biggest shake-up of the health system since the neo-liberal reforms of the early 1990s, which have now been completely reversed. Good. The main ingredients announced by Health Minister Andrew Little this morning have included the setting up of a new and truly independent Maori Health Authority... More>>

 

Government: Major Reforms Will Make Healthcare Accessible For All NZers

Putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare and ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders are two of the main drivers of health sector reforms announced today by Health Minister Andrew Little. “We are going to put the emphasis squarely ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels