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

 

Call for Ministers to Visit Countries Growing GE

Press Release from PSRG - Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics

Released Thursday 9 October 2003, 15.15

PSRG is an independent organization with no political or industrial affiliations.

PSRG Call for Ministers to Visit Countries Growing GE Crops

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics endorse the Green Party's call for Ministers to visit Canada, and encourage them to visit Argentina as well.

In a recent letter, addressed to all Members of Parliament, PSRG suggested that an independently organized, investigative visit, by New Zealand MPs, to talk to farmers in Argentina, the USA and Canada, would substantiate the concerns of those wanting the moratorium reinstated. It would also be advisable for others to join them, such as representatives from local government, Federated Farmers and New Zealand's Crown Research Institutes.

Such a visit would show these representatives at first-hand the damage genetic engineering technology is inflicting on farmers in those countries: those growing transgenic crops as well as conventional and organic farmers. Both Canada and Argentina have found few if any benefits from growing transgenic crops. For the average farmer, there has been no gain at all.

Canadian farmers would be the first to deny that Canada is a model where transgenic and conventional crops happily co-exist. They don't. Buffer zones simply don't work. Even the vast acreages that separate Canadian transgenic crops from conventional crops have not stopped cross-pollination and contamination. In 2002, Australian scientists (Rieger et al) confirmed that canola pollen can travel considerable distances.

And not just major food crops are causing contamination. One study found transgenic material from GE potatoes in conventional potatoes 1.1 km from the trial crop. Perhaps most significant of all are reports that, not only are seed stocks contaminated, but "breeder" seed stocks are contaminated as well. The very nature of genetic engineering technology ensures transgenes are virulent; they come with a virtual guarantee of causing contamination.

British MP, Alan Simpson, recently visited Canada and talked to Canadian farmers who first found they were growing transgenic crops without knowing it, and then found themselves taken to court by Monsanto, the developer of the seed, for growing the crops illegally. By wind, rain, transport, animals, or whatever means, transgenes or seeds had found their way onto the farms unbeknown to the farmers.

An independently organized, investigative visit, by New Zealand MPs, to talk to farmers in Argentina, the USA and Canada, would bring common-sense into the debate and would ensure that the moratorium would be reinstated.

(383 words)

Contact: Secretary, PSRG, 440a Otumoetai Road, Tauranga; tel or fax 64 7 576 5721; roberta@clear.net.nz.

Spokespersons: Dr Paul Butler, tel 09 410 4707; Dr John Clearwater, tel 09 828 3339; Dr Peter Wills, tel 09 373 7599, Ext 88889.

ENDS

Jean Anderson Secretary Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics www.psrg.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Stats NZ: Consents For New Homes At All-Time High

A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021, Stats NZ said today. The previous record for the annual number of new homes consented was 40,025 in the year ended February 1974. “Within 10 years the number of new homes ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Declines As Underutilisation Rises

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.7 percent in the March 2021 quarter, continuing to fall from its recent peak of 5.2 percent in the September 2020 quarter but remaining high compared with recent years, Stats NZ said today. ... More>>

ALSO:

Digitl: The Story Behind Vodafone’s FibreX Court Ruling

Vodafone’s FibreX service was in the news this week. What is the story behind the Fair Trading Act court case? More>>

Reserve Bank: Concerned About New Zealand's Rising House Prices

New Zealand house prices have risen significantly in the past 12 months. This has raised concerns at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Putea Matua about the risk this poses to financial stability. Central banks responded swiftly to the global ... More>>

Westpac: Announces Strong Financial Result

Westpac New Zealand (Westpac NZ) [i] says a strong half-year financial result has been driven by better than expected economic conditions. Chief Executive David McLean said while the global COVID-19 pandemic was far from over, the financial effect on ... More>>

MYOB: SME Confidence In Economic Performance Still Cautious

New insights from the annual MYOB Business Monitor have shown the SME sector is still cautious about the potential for further economic recovery, with two-in-five (41%) expecting the New Zealand economy to decline this year. The latest research ... More>>