Prime Minister John Key, on holiday in Hawaii, should meet with Hawai'i County Council Mayor to be briefed on the island's decision to prohibit GM crops (1).
In December 2013 Hawaii County Council Mayor, Mr. William Kenoi, signed Bill 113 prohibiting biotech companies from growing any new genetically modified crops on the largest of Hawaii's islands.
“The Prime Minister should take a break from his holiday to hear about the ban and to understand why his government needs to protect New Zealand's GE-free status,” said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ (in food and environment).
When signing Bill 113 Mayor Kenoi said “our community has a deep connection and respect for our land, and we all understand we must protect our island and preserve our precious natural resources. We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world. With this new ordinance we are conveying that instead of global agribusiness corporations, we want to encourage and support community-based farming and ranching."
New Zealand's farming communities deserve similar protections, and there is backing for a moratorium on GMOs in the independent review of GM research by the Mcguiness Insititute.(2)
“New Zealand's reputation for safe, natural food is hugely important. It will serve New Zealand well for John Key to speak with the Mayor of Hawaii, even if it takes him away from the golf course for a couple of hours,” said Jon Carapiet.
New Zealand's farming communities can also benefit from reviewing the independent science behind Hawaii's ban on GM crops (3) in the face of industry hype of GM crops. Other islands are also looking to protect their producers (4).
"Today our communities expect that government will be as cautious as possible in protecting our food and water supplies... This ordinance expresses the desires and demands of our community for a safe, sustainable agricultural sector that can help feed our people while keeping our precious island productive and healthy," said Mayor Kenoi.
The same sentiments are true for New Zealand farming communities, producers and exporters.
There are clear benefits for New Zealand in keeping GM contamination out of the supply chain.
In the USA the fastest growing grocery category is for GM-free food (5).
Jon Carapiet - National spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley- President GE-free NZ 0273486731