15/06/2015

Hazardous changes to New Organisms Act.

 

The National Government and Treasury are under pressure from Federated Farmers, to loosen all precautions around genetically engineered organisms as legislated in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO). HSNO considers GMO’s whilst under experimentation and the Resource Management Act (RMA) allows communities to place rules around GE crop use, if and when they are released.

In the last 10 years six field trials have been approved under the HSNO Act. To date they have cost millions and produced no results that show they will have a better outcome than their conventional counterparts; in fact they have shown they are extremely toxic cruel failures.

The government is relying on false data and has not looked at the real cost of GM animals and plants. This year will be the 15 years since GM animals were developed and the experiment found extremely high levels of animal suffering, calf deformities and reproductive failures show that this GM was a case of severe animal cruelty and is not the way forward for New Zealand. [1]

Federated Farmers has set up small science and innovation teams to "Reclaim choice" these will lobby on issues that include the adpotion of GE. [2] If New Zealand adopted GE farming it would loose its highly lucrative sustainable brand and jeopardise its export markets. Science in New Zealand is so badly funded that it relies on corporate funds to carry on. These scientists due to the funding model are trying desperately to attract the money to carry on, unfortunately the model ensures that the scientists also have to play the pipers tune.

“Changing the law will not make genetic engineering safe. It will only open the public up to a toxic chemical overload. Produce unsafe food, weed and pest resistance and lower yields” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ “ Where is the proof that for example Eucalyptus trees will not cause devastating environmental pollution and damage to the precarious ecosystems of Brazil?”

New Zealand does not need to become a GE crop or animal hub, especially where results have shown they are being abandoned because the farmers and consumers are experiencing the highly dangerous effects on both the environment and on the health of those who eat them. [3]

This is yet another move by the National Government to standardise the laws around genetic engineering in light of signing the failed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, this move will stop communities from expressing their needs to preserve their livelihoods and culture. If the Government does change the law it is a direct and lethal nail in the coffin of sustainable future voice that New Zealand and its future generations’ espouse to.

References:

[1] http://www.gefree.org.nz/reports-and-submissions/

[2] http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/publications/media-releases/article.asp?id=2355#.VX9R46Yo0YU

[3]http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/nz-could-powerhouse-in-animal-genetics-govt-under-pressure-relax-gm-laws-6338447

[4] http://www.foodconference.co.nz/



ENDS:

Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731

Jon Muller

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