August 2012

Biopiracy threat as Multinational Giants Pitch GM to Maori Businesses



Biopiracy threat as Multinational Giants Pitch GM to Maori Businesses


Press Release: Tuesday 28th August 2012, 2.30pm.

Te Waka Kai Ora (National Māori Organics Authority Aotearoa)

For immediate release


The upcoming conference titled “Adapting to a Changing World” run by GE multinationals Monsanto and DuPont has sparked intense debate throughout Aotearoa and Māori communities. Te Waka Kai Ora (the National Māori Organics Authority Aotearoa) takes a strong stand against Genetic Modification and the insidious campaigns by such multinationals to push their agenda on indigenous communities. Te Waka Kai Ora act as the facilitators for Hua Parakore maara kai (pure food growing), using a tikanga based verification system which encourages the use of GE-free, nano-free, pesticide and chemical-free production methods, while enhancing their whanau and community aspirations.


 ll August 2012


"GE isn't a solution, it's just another problem for farmers, and a big one,"
-Bob Mackley, Duchembegarra, Western Victoria, Australia

Two Australian farmers visited the Whangarei Saturday Market on the
weekend and gave a presentation at the Old Library on Rust Avenue.
They shared their first-hand experience of genetically engineered
crops in their communities with 50+ ratepayers in attendance,
including local farmers.

Seed farmers Bob Mackley, of Victoria, and Julie Newman, of Western
Australia, are both strongly against genetically engineered food
crops, observing from personal experience how they can damage a farm’s
reputation, negatively impact on finite resources like soils and the
farmers access to key markets and premiums.  GE crops also serve to
divide rural communities, due to the nature of transgenic pollution
that does not respect property boundaries.

Mr. Mackley and Ms. Newman said genetic engineering of crops
effectively passed control of a country’s seed supply to the
government or foreign multinationals, rather than being in the hands
of farmers. The pair discussed issues of liability, the impossibility
of co-existence between GE and non-GE farmers and the contamination
problems already occurring in Victoria and Western Australia.

"These conventional farmers from Australia gave us a strong message-
saying local primary producers need to continue to work with our local
councils to protect our existing valuable GM free status", GE Free
Northland spokesperson Martin Robinson said today.

Marlborough-based Green Party list-MP Steffan Browning brought the
Australians to Whangarei as part of an 11-day tour of New Zealand.  He

Tasmania a leader in GM Free, Premium Branding

Tasmania a leader in GM Free, Premium Branding

Tasmania and South Australia are both official GM Free food producing regions. Tasmania has prohibited the commercial production of GM crops for some years now, and has a branding programme to position the state as the home of gourmet foods. As it states, “global negatives” (such as GM foods) can be turned to the state’s advantage. They’ve got a great story…

Hawke's Bay Council is supporting push for GE free status

Council is supporting push for GE status

Hawke’s Bay took one step closer to establishing a genetic engineering-free food status for the region when the Hastings District Council expressed support for the vision, writes Lawrence Gullery of Hawke’s Bay Today. 

Pure Hawke’s Bay presented to the Hastings Council’s long-term plan hearing this week to put its case forward for a GE-free district and the council responded by voting unanimously in support of the proposal.

The council was keen to join Napier in declaring itself GE-free but wanted to take the concept a step further, writing it into its district plan to give it some legal clout.

The idea is to protect the growing soils of the Heretaunga Plains which supports the region’s primary and horticulture economy.

The council was also keen to become a national leader of the GE-free movement rather than wait for the Government to come up with a national policy. Currently only Whangarei is moving in the GE-free direction.

The status would give food producers a point of difference when marketing overseas and put tighter rules around applications for GE crops to be grown in the district.

Pure Hawke’s Bay said it was not “anti-science” but believed research around GE foods should be restricted “to the labs” and not grown out in crops in New Zealand.