New Zealand's export success has been underpinned by its GE-Free status but remains at risk from government policy to promote environmental release of GMOs in agriculture.
The National Party and regulators have been heavily pressured by pro-GE lobbyists to make any GE approval the sole decision of the Environmental Protection Agency. For this to occur, legislative changes to the Resource Management Bill that governs councils would have to be passed by parliament. Minister Nick Smith is pushing the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, which will allow him to overrule provisions in local body plans, including GMO-Free zones and other environmental protection.  Despite this there is good news that the Maori Party fully supports a GE Free Aotearoa. New Zealand now has four declared GE Free regions.
“Removal of regional protections would damage New Zealand’s agriculture and consumers if GMOs were introduced”. said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.
Ground breaking research in multi-omics, published in Nature, shows that GE corn NK603 has been approved with insufficient information and has found dangerous “off target effects” that could pose health risks to the consumer. 
“The regulations of GE applications have been superficial and evidence is growing that emerging health dangers are of real concern” said Bleakley
Research by Professor Heinemann of Canterbury University  has recently been reconfirmed by the New York Times.  The studies found that GE-free agriculture in Europe has reduced pesticide use, maintained or increased yield, and improved biodiversity compared to the United States where GE is grown.
Russia has declared itself a GE free nation, and now China’s Heilongjiang province, one third bigger than New Zealand, has also prohibited GE crops. 
GE Free NZ wishes everyone a safe and happy festive season and the hope that we can celebrate that our country is still GE Free at the end of 2017. To ensure this, buy local and organic NZ bred seeds to plant in your garden. Brands who have committed to being GE Free are listed on the web.  Have a wonderful GE Free summer holiday.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 027348 6731
 Maori Party raises concerns over RMA changes, which could affect GMO-free rules, Sam Sachdeva Stuff
 Mésnage R, Agapito-Tenfen S, Vilperte V, Renney G, Ward M, Séralini GE, Nodari N, Antoniou MN. An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6:37855. Open access: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep37855
 Heinemann, J., Massaro, M., Coray, D., Agapito-Tenfen S.,, and Wen J. (2014) International Journal Of Agricultural Sustainability Vol. 12 , Iss. 1.
 China’s Top Grain Producing Province Bans GM Crops