15/04/2011

Whangarei District Council moves to protect its community from GE

 

Whangarei District Councilors have voted to unanimously reject the outdoor use of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals in the District.

The historic vote rejecting the outdoor planting of GE crops and trees reflects the concerns of communities about the lack of protection afforded by central government in relation to GE and land use.

“The move to prohibit the use of GE in the Whangarei District has been a victory for common sense and all Councils involved must be congratulated,” said Claire Bleakley.

"Communities, ratepayers and consumers have a basic right to protect the food system and environment, and that is what the decision supports."

The reports of adverse evidence in overseas countries exposed to commercial GE highlights serious environmental problems from soil degradation, ecosystem damage, to increasing insect and weed resistance to the proprietary pesticides.

The workers and animals that come into contact with GE are suffering illness and feeding studies are showing organ and blood disruption. The over use of chemicals from glyphosate to 2, 4-D in GE herbicide tolerant crops will have a secondary effect on top of the GE problems that are emerging.

The failure of central government to protect and preserve the GE-Free choice for farmers and consumers is a threat to the economic and other benefits of New Zealand's GE-free, clean, green, natural reputation.

Local action by councils is a necessary response to central government actively undermining the 100% Pure NZ brand.

The pursuit of 'Free trade' is threatening to force a dismantling of bio-security which New Zealand needs to survive economically. Northland has put a stake in the ground for an investment in its GE-Free future. Risky commercial ventures with new technologies cannot be 'socialised' on communities.

Kia Kaha and thank you to all of the Councils who have listened to the community voice.

References:

Whangarei vote unanimous on way forward for GE issue, 13 April 2011
www.wdc.govt.nz/NewsRoom/MediaReleases/2011-Media-Releases/Pages/Whangarei-vote-unanimous-on-way-forwardforGE.aspx

ENDS

Jon Carapiet 0210507681

Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 3486731

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