29/06/2006

Auckland City adopt a precautionary approach to Genetically Modified Organisms

 

Auckland City adopt a precautionary approach to Genetically Modified Organisms

The move by Auckland City adopt a precautionary approach to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) land use in its LTCCP and to join the inter-council Working Party on GMOs is to be commended. The Northland peninsula councils have already commissioned two independent GE reports and legal opinions, which detail the ways in which local authorities can effectively act on their duty of care to both ratepayers and the environment.

Auckland City is also investigating ways to maintain the Isthmus and Hauraki Gulf Islands environment, free of GMO's until outstanding issues on liability, economic, environmental, and cultural risks are resolved. .

"The responsible approach that Auckland City and Northland Peninsular Councils have taken shows that they are taking the GE concerns of their communities seriously". said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in Food and Environment. " The ever increasing pressure to field trial or conditionally release GMO's before they have been proven safe is unacceptable to ratepaying communities and farmers "

Losses to primary producers (conventional and organic) could be substantial if GMO liability risks and other gaps in the HSNO Act are not addressed. "Corngate", GE contamination of export corn shipments, cost the Country millions in lost revenue and clean up costs.

"The best way for Councils to address the risks of GMOs, is to adopt a strong precautionary approach and work with other local authorities to keep GMO land use out of the region"

ENDS:
Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842

References:

The Community Management of GMOs II Risk and Response Options,
http://www.wdc.govt.nz/customerservice/?lc=reader&m=tssd&i=3433


The following TWO resolutions were CARRIED at combined committees LTCCP
meeting yesterday to be ratified at full Council today.

Chairmans Recommendation:
That Auckland City Council join the inter-council working party on
genetically modified organisms.

Councillor Abel moved in addition:
That Auckland City adopt a precautionary approach to the management of
biotechnology in general and to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) land
uses in particular. That Auckland City investigate ways to maintain the
Isthmus and Hauraki Gulf Islands environment, free of GMO's until
outstanding issues such as liability, economic costs and benefits,
environmental risks, and cultural effects are resolved.

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