GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 9th February 2006

Whangarei vs WTO (Soil & Health Association of New Zealand)

Whangarei District Council has a refreshing view of democracy compared to the World Trade Organisation, according to Soil & Health.

The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand commends the Whangarei District Council's democratic and precautionary approach to GMO land use and challenges other councils throughout NZ to follow suit, says Soil & Health spokesperson, Steffan Browning.

Whangarei, last week agreed to jointly fund community consultation, along with Rodney District and Waitakere City Councils, to gauge support for
regulation of GMO land use and the level of GMO risk communities will tolerate. Other Northland councils are expected to join them.

With 75% of NZ people polled last year supporting GE Free food production and zero contamination tolerance, the Councils democratic approach flies in the face of this weeks WTO decision to overide EU citizen driven regulations, against GE food imports, says Mr Browning.

Kiwi solidarity can maintain a GE Free environment in the same way we have No Nukes.

The WTO decision did not challenge EU environmental protection law or International Biosafety agreements.

The Danish have led with a polluter pays tax regime on any GMO producers, to compensate other producers that are economically impacted by GE

New Zealand could follow, with councils insisting on effective bonds should GE applications ever be pushed through. Potential GMO producers may
reconsider when faced with carrying their own risk, and NZ organic and GE free growers must be granted the protection their communities demand, Mr Browning says.

Congratulations to NZ's North for leading the way in a democratic approach to GE. Soil & Health applauds your stance.


Steffan Browning, spokesperson

The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand

021 725655


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