Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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

 

Major Doubts About GE Findings, Says Rural Leader

31 July 2001


Major Doubts About GE Findings, Says Rural Leader

“Forecasts of a Billion Dollar Windfall are Ludicrous”

A rural leader with more than 50 years of farming experience says it is absolutely vital that New Zealand remains environmentally free of GE organisms.

The Mayor of Hurunui District, John Chaffey, says the findings of the Royal Commission on Genetic modification could spell disaster for New Zealand’s two main export industries if research and experiments lead to uncontrolled use of modified plants and animals.

In contrast to comments from the major farming lobby group, Mayor Chaffey says the decision to allow field research and experiments could seriously undermine New Zealand’s image and threaten our international trade. He said contained experiments should be allowed to continue for medical research and developments that do not affect the food chain.

“The forecast of huge economic gains for New Zealand are completely unsubstantiated,” he said. “The first generation of GE foods have proven to be dismal failure and producers of GM foods are facing increasing resistance to their products.

“We need to acknowledge that the perception of GM foods in our major markets is largely negative, and while these fears exist we should prevent GM organisms from entering the food chain. If these perceptions change, then that will be the time to reconsider our position. In the meantime we have more to gain from protecting our international trading advantage, as a producer of unadulterated foods, while taking advantage of the exponential demand for organics.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Mayor Chaffey said a community forum on GE on the Hurunui had revealed widespread interest in the implications for farming in the long term. “No farm producer seriously expects a bonanza from GE – just the overseas corporates.”

“The support for GM within some quarters of the primary production sector is an example of short term economic thinking. We need to be taking a much more long term view because there are still some major areas of uncertainty, such as the implications for our soils and pastures.

“New Zealand’s main export industries – tourism and agriculture – depend absolutely on our clean and green image. We are competing extremely well in international markets without GM, and by deciding to allow GM field research we are risking our key competitive advantage.”

Mayor Chaffey says while the Commission’s report was extremely thorough, it tended be influenced by stakeholders with a short term commercial view. He says the Government should take every possible step to ensure that New Zealand remains environmentally GE free.

Ends

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 
GenPro: General Practices Begin Issuing Clause 14 Notices

GenPro has been copied into a rising number of Clause 14 notices issued since the NZNO lodged its Primary Practice Pay Equity Claim against General Practice employers in December 2023.More

SPADA: Screen Industry Unites For Streaming Platform Regulation & Intellectual Property Protections

In an unprecedented international collaboration, representatives of screen producing organisations from around the world have released a joint statement.More

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.