Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council joint GE/GMO hearings 13/ l4 June Whangarei

Open to the public- WDC and FNDC joint GE/GMO hearings 13/ 14 June (Toll Stadium, Okara Drive, Whangarei), and l6 June (Kaikohe).  Please ring Dr. Kerry Grundy, Whangarei District Council, 09 430 4200 for more information about the excellent collaborative GMO District Plan changes by FNDC and WDC (to ban all GMO releases and make any EPA approved outdoor  GE experiments/ field trials a Discretionary activity in the District Plan(s), subject to additional local stringent requirements  incluing strict liability requirements.
GE Free Northland strongly supports recent initiates of Regional and District Councils to include provisions to regulate or prohibit outdoor trialling or release of GMOs. 
GE Free Northland strongly supportsWhangarei District Council GMO Plan change #18 and Far North District Council GMO Plan change # 18 and particularly the provision for bonds, without which GE free primary producers, including organic producers, would be at risk of serious financial consequences, if not the complete loss, of their enterprises, in the case of GMO contamination.
GE Free Northland strongly support our local Councils’ stated intention to make consent holders for EPA approved outdoor use of GMOs financially responsible for any consequent contamination.
GE Free Northland considers that this additional tier of management is very necessary given identified serious limitations in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. 
Such limitations have been identified by Local Government NZ, various NZ councils, mana whenua, and primary producer boards, and include a lack of strict liability on the part of GMO users for damage arising from any contamination that may occur and no mandatory requirement under the HSNO Act for the EPA to take a precautionary approach to outdoor GE applications. 
Opposition to the outdoor use of GMOs is roundly opposed by a growing number of councils, communities, mana whenua, primary producer boards and other big agricultural players such as Beef and Lamb, Horticulture New Zealand, Dairy NZ, Zespri and Fonterra. 
This is not surprising given the potential serious risks involved, including: 
 • transgenic pollution;
• loss of key markets; and
• loss of premiums for existing non GM primary producers
More information:  Anna Murphy, Secretary, GE Free Northland  09 434 3009 Whangarei
Marty Robinson, spokesperson, GE Free Northland  09 407 8650
Zelka Linda Grammer  email: linda.grammer@gmail.com