GE Free Northland, 28th June  2003

GE FREE NORTHLAND applauds Kaipara District Council GE decision

Kaipara District Council signalled its strong opposition to genetic engineering this week, voting to limit the release of Genetically Engineered Organisms within the District.

GE FREE NORTHLAND spokesperson Zelka Grammer said today she applauded the much needed leadership of the Mayor and full council on this critical issue, at a time when the Labour government continues to ignore the concerns of both eminent scientists and the majority of New Zealanders.

The move by Kaipara Council shows that local authorities don’t have to wait for central Government to decide on the future of their communities.

Councillor Bruce Rogan is correct when he states that ordinary sensible citizens- rather than scientists and businessmen- should make decisions on GE on behalf of their children and grandchildren.

Kaipara District Council obviously recognizes the significant threat to local primary producers from GE experiments and crops whose pollen and seeds can spread via the wind, soil and farm machinery. We hope that Whangarei District Council, Far North District Council and Northland Regional Council will emulate Kaipara’s precautionary and conservative stance and act swiftly to protect ratepayers from hazardous new technologies like GE.

Northland is a prime candidate for REGIONAL EXCLUSION ZONE designation, due to its geographical location and the risks GE presents to our economy and environment.

The majority of New Zealanders don’t want to eat genetically engineered food, and they don’t want genetically engineered organisms released into their backyard.

Without a strict liability regime, innocent third parties and local authorities remain at risk. Liability for unforeseen adverse effects of GE needs to be satisfactorily resolved before any release of GMOs occur.

See
“NZ Law Commission Report on Liability/GE” 
http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/Documents/Publications/NZLC_GMO___.pdf

Contact: Zelka Grammer, Chairperson
GE FREE NORTHLAND (in Food & Environment)
09 432 2155

Martin Robinson
09 407 8650

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