14/04/2010

GE Animal responsibility spread to Rate payers and Councils.

 

Local and Regional Authorities will be scrambling to protect ratepayers from costs of clean-up and contamination if ERMA approves four applications based on its latest 'Evaluation and Review' report, due out in the next few weeks.


The E&R report on what is effectively 'full release of GM" in New Zealand has been compiled just weeks after the invalid applications were OK'd for ERMA's consideration by The Appeal Court.


ERMA has told GE Free NZ that hearings on the country-transforming applications to create GE animals anywhere, anytime, any place, are due to be held within the next month.


An ERMA approval could see the spread of GE animals to all parts of the country, with exposure of ratepayers and major challenges for local government.


But rapid completion of the E&R Report shows ERMA has engaged in a silent underhanded process by considering the applications without respect for the public or the Law.The fact that there has been no clarification on the errors identified by the High Court shows that ERMA is unwilling to follow the Law.


"ERMA is conflicted with embedded members who are set on ridding New Zealand of its GE Free status,” says Claire Bleakley. “This is a unacceptable coming from ERMA when it should protect the public from risk from GE escape."


"By acting in such a way, they have turned a blind eye to illegalities. ERMA is disenfranchising the public, but actively protecting Corporates who are in serious financial trouble. It is not the purpose of ERMA to get big business out of trouble by using taxpayers' and ratepayers' money to fund the risk.”


“Without liability, accountability or transparency for their actions AgResearch and its partners GTC and Pharming will not face the consequences of their actions. Ratepayers to Local and Regional Councils will be left to manage the risks.”


GE Free NZ are investigating leave to have this case heard in the Supreme Court.


ENDS:


Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731


Jon Carapiet 0210507681

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