06/06/2012

Ombudsmen help sought on Trans Tasman jurisdiction.

 

GE Free NZ has written to the Office of the Ombudsmen to seek clarification on how to appeal a government decision that will impact current and future generations of New Zealanders and Australians.

GE Free NZ submitted an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in March, on the decision in November 2011, by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to approve genetically engineered 2,4-D corn and soy into the food chain. FSANZ is a trans-Tasman agency that approves novel (GE) foods into the food chain on behalf of chemical companies marketing products in both countries.

GE Free NZ has received the AAT’s judgment saying that they do not have jurisdiction to consider the appeal by GE-Free NZ creating a 'no-mans' land for New Zealanders where there is no legal protection equal to that provided under Australian Law.

“This is extraordinary, as the New Zealand public has no ability to challenge or have a voice in long-term decisions made on their behalf by Australia. The Tribunal decision implies New Zealanders have nowhere to go if they believe decisions made on their behalf are wrong,” says Claire Bleakley.

There is an alarming list of pesticides (herbicides and insecticides) that foods are being engineered to resist or produce. Of particular concern are recent situations where the levels of chemicals that are considered safe have not even been set, and approval has been given for chemicals which were never intended for the food supply.

GE free NZ wrote with these concerns to FSANZ, The Ministerial Council on Food Approvals and now the AAT, and received no reply or have been advised by that the courts in Australia that they have no standing and no jurisdiction to appeal the decision.

“We have appealed through all avenues about the concerning absence of any scientific information whatsoever, on the safety of the novel GE genes and the pesticide cocktail that now pose a direct threat to public health. The Ombudsmen’s Office is our last resort and we are pleased that they are to look into this matter,” said Mrs. Bleakley.

Last week, The FSANZ received another application by Dow to approve GE soy with a toxic cocktail of three different herbicides, and for which submissions are open. But few members of the public or the grocery industry will be aware that plans for such an approval are under way.

It appears that the GE food approvals process just rolls on like a juggernaut and ignores any care for public health, in effect abandoning consumers to become guinea pigs in an awful GE experiment with intergenerational reach.

ENDS:
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731
Jon Carapiet 0210 507681

References:
AAT. Appeal Decision
www.gefree.org.nz

http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandards/changingthecode/notificationcirculars/current/notificationcircular5540.cfm

Food derived from Herbicide-tolerant Soybean DAS-44406-6
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-changing-world/news/video.cfm?c_id=1502962&gal_cid=1502962&gallery_id=125410

GM Soy linked to health damage in pigs - a Danish Dossier http://gmwatch.eu/latest-listing/1-news-items/13882

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