News

US corn exports to China drop 85 percent after ban on GMO strains – industry report

http://rt.com/usa/china-gmo-corn-ban-120/

US corn exports to China drop 85 percent after ban on GMO strains – industry report

Published time: April 12, 2014 
AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

China’s rejection of shipments of US corn containing traces of unapproved genetically modified maize has caused a significant drop in exports. According to a new report, US traders have lost $427 million in sales.

Overall, China has barred nearly 1.45 million tons of corn shipments since last year, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), an American industry association, said Friday.

RUSSIA WILL NOT IMPORT GMO PRODUCTS- Prime Minister Medvedev

http://rt.com/news/russia-import-gmo-products-621/

 

Russia will not import GMO products - PM Medvedev

Published time: April 06, 2014 00:58
Edited time: April 07, 2014 10:33
RIA Novosti / Maksim Bogodvid

RIA Novosti / Maksim Bogodvid

Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Overwhelming support for local decisions on GM free status- National Poll

 Pure Hawke's Bay is a group of primary producers (conventional, IPM and organic) in Hawke's Bay committed to retaining their existing valuable GE free status, and continued access to key markets and premiums for GM free produce

Overwhelming Support for Local Decisions on GM Free Status: National Poll

Four out of five New Zealanders think councils should be able to keep their districts GM Free using local plans, according to a Colmar Brunton poll.

The poll was commissioned by Pure Hawke’s Bay, a group of premium food producers who are asking councils in the region to secure Hawke’s Bay’s GM free status through local plans.

Earlier this year, the Government announced its intention to change the law to prevent the regions from doing so. But 79% of New Zealanders participating in the national poll said that councils should be able to use the RMA to prohibit GM releases in their territories.

The response shows that the Government is way out of step with New Zealanders, says Bruno Chambers of Pure Hawke’s Bay.

Several councils – including Hastings, Whangarei, Far North and Auckland City – are proposing to use local plans to protect their regions from GMO releases, with strong backing from their communities.

79% want councils to have power over GM crops, Colmar Brunton poll

RADIO NZ programme

79% want councils to have power over GM crops - Colmar Brunton poll

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/229508/79-percent-want-councils-to-have-power-over-gm-crops-poll



A group opposed to genetic modification has released a poll showing almost 80% of respondents want councils to retain the power to create GM-free zones.

The phone survey of 1000 people was commissioned by Pure Hawke's Bay and carried out by Colmar-Brunton.
Under proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, central government rather than councils would have the power to decide where GM crops can be grown.

However, Pure Hawke's Bay says 79% of the people surveyed want decision making powers to stay with the councils.

Spokesperson Bruno Chambers says GM free products command a premium price and the group wants GM-free zones so farmers can grow unmodified crops with less risk of contamination.

The survey has a plus or minus margin of error of 3.1%.

Listen to more from Bruno Chambers on Morning Report

Comvita adds voice to GE trials caution

Comvita adds voice to GE trials caution

By John Cousins      Bay of Plenty Times

8:30 AM Friday Nov 29, 2013 
  •   www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11164655
Cultural consultant Buddy Mikaere is standing for a tougher council stance on genetic engineering. Cultural consultant Buddy Mikaere is standing for a tougher council stance on genetic engineering.

One of the Bay's biggest exporters Comvita has backed moves to single out genetic engineering as deserving a "precautionary approach" by the region's environmental watchdog.

The Paengaroa-based company joined seven others in the Environment Court yesterday to fight a bid by the New Zealand Forest Research Institute (Scion) to stop the the Bay of Plenty Regional Council adopting a cautionary stance toward GE field trials.

Comvita, whose honey exports of $80 million rely on New Zealand's clean green image, has highlighted the huge financial impact if a GE organism was released into the environment.

Scientists, activists, orchardists, organic farmers and Maori culture united to support the council which wants to signal its concern about the risks from genetic modification trials in its regional policy statement.

Scion has challenged the validity of the council singling out genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as warranting a precautionary approach.

But the council stopped short of elevating GMOs to a "matter of significance" which would have had a flow-on effect into its planning documents by the introduction of specific rules.

WAR AGAINST GMO'S EXPECTED TO ESCALATE

letters to editor needed, in response to today's Whangarei Leader GE story

(inflammatory comments from WDC's Clr John Williamson- but he is correct in anticipating that Federated Farmers of NZ and...who knows what nefariou multinational or NZ Crown Research Institute will appeal Whangarei District Council, Far North District Council and Auckland Council's collaborative Plan change to BAN all GMO releases and make EPA approved outdoor GE experiments/ field trials a Discretionary activity

(try and keep it to 250 words, provide full contact details :)

WAR AGAINST GMO's EXPECTED TO ESCALATE       15 October 2013     Whangarei Leader
by Denise Piper

Whangarei District Council- important GE agenda item, Wednesday 9 October 10am Forum North

 


There will be an important GE agenda item at next Wednesdays 9 October 2013 meeting of the
Whangarei District Council "District Living committee"
(Council chambers, Whangarei)

AGENDA (now online, GE documents available in attachment form, upon request)
www.wdc.govt.nz/YourCouncil/Events/Pages/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=320
Whangarei ratepayers and residents- please JOIN US in making a positive presence at council on the day... and ...celebrate the expected win on the day.

All welcome :) (including from other parts of Northland)

Where: WHANGAREI DISTRICT COUNCIL
Forum North, Rust Avenue  (council chambers, upstairs) 

When: 10am -llam

Wear: GE free t-shirts, bring banners or placards celebrating and encouraging WDC's excellent leadership on the GE issue, our council continues to work hard to protect our existing valuable GE free status
(In keeping with the WDC's strong precautionary and prohibitive GE policy in our Long Term Council Community Plan 2012/22...and... in keeping with WDC's unanimous vote to undertake the proposed Plan change.

 

GM stance deepens divisions

"GM stance deepens divisions" 
by Jamie Ball
STRAIGHT FURROW   10 September 2013     (front page)

Federated Farmers of NZ is "clearly out of touch with markets" in their opposition to councils' plans to introduce tighter regulation for genetically modified organisms, says Pure Hawke's Bay (PHB) spokesman Bruno Chambers.

Mr. Chambers said the PHB coalition of regional food producers seeking to improve the region's global reputation for safe, sustainable, high quality food production had proposed securing GM free food producer status through local authority planning, for l0 years.

"We had a meeting with the President, Bruce Wills, who said that Federated Farmers would not stand in the way of the Pure Hawke's Bay initiative, so it surprises me that Federated Farmers are taking the position they have."

"They are basically out of touch with the markets. NZ relies on premium markets- our future is not with low-price commodity markets," he said.

Environment Minister Amy Adams recently announced that hazardous substances and new organisms were comprehensively regulated on a national basis and councils should not use the Resource Management Act (RMA) to set up their own independent regulatory frameworks.

However, like some other regions, the Hawke's Bay coalition believes that the Environmental Protection Authority has no mandate to protect regions, regional rands or regional returns.

Mr. Chambers said it was a pity that the federation's representative on the subject, Wililam Rolleston, was entrenched in an ideological position.

RMA changes threaten fight against GMOs


"RMA changes threaten fight against GMOs"

9 July 2013  Northern Advocate


by Lindy Laird
Northland individuals, groups and authorities who have fought to protect their backyard from GMO threats may yet find they have won a battle but lost the war if the Resource Management Act (RMA) is changed.

Environment Minister Amy Adam came out recently in support of changes to the RMA that could exclude local government having a role in managing GMO (genetically modified organism) risks. Her comments drew fire from the Auckland and Northland-wide Inter-council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management. Other groups have said that in threatening to shut down local authorities' efforts to protect their territory, Ms Adams was undermining local democracy.


Inter-council Working Party convenor and Whangarei District Council Futures Planning manager Kerry Grundy said although the Government holds that GMOs were most appropriately controlled under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms ACT (HSNO), local authorities were still entitled to plan their own cover, ``provided that this action meets the relevant requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991.''


Dr Grundy said should the RMA be amended, more pressure would come on the national regulator, the Environmental Protection Authority, to take into account local government controls on GMOs.

Communities want 'stricter' GE controls

hurrah for Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government NZ and Mayor of Hastings  District Council, and Mayor Phil Halse of Whangarei District Council, standing up for democracy...the rights of local existing non GM farmers and other ratepayers

(link to Lois Williams RADIO NZ piece that ran last Friday and on Monday morning- brilliant comments by our Deputy Mayor Phil Halse, telling rookie Minister "for" the Environment Amy Adams to pull her head in and have a wee chat to former Minister Nick Smith!

GE Free Northland putting out a Press Release later today, praising the work of our local councils to create an additional tier of protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs (on top of what the HSNO Act requires).

www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/138819/communities-want-%27stricter%27-ge-controls

Communities want 'stricter' GE controls

Updated at 9:59 pm on 28 June 2013

Local Government New Zealand says communities are asking for stricter controls on genetically-engineered material than those set by central government.

Lawrence Yule.

Lawrence Yule.

RNZ

Environment Minister Amy Adams believes the Government's controls on genetically-modified trials and releases are strict enough and said she will change the law to stop councils restricting the growing of genetically-engineered crops and animals in their districts.

Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said on Friday that councils have taken those steps because many people want a more precautionary approach than central government.

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