News

MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO- and Northland Regional Council's GE decision- this Saturday, 25 March, in Whangarei

GE Free Northland Action alert for this week :)

support the MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO...and the March against the Northland Regional Council's decision on GE

in Whangarei.... this Saturday 

2pm- 3pm, 25th May

GE fungus escapes at Lincoln University

GE fungus escapes at Lincoln University

Officials are investigating how a genetically modified soil fungus escaped containment facilities at Lincoln University, near Christchurch.

The fungus was found in restricted access laboratories and greenhouses on university grounds earlier this month, but the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says does not yet know how it escaped the tighter security.

It believes the environmental threat is very low.

The genetic modification involved adding marker genes to indicate the fungus' presence in research plants.

"At this stage, we believe it is unlikely any potentially genetically modified Beauveria bassiana fungus has spread further," said MPI's Roger Smith.

All samples and plant materials known to contain the modified fungus have been secured. MPI was now checking if any other material may have been inadvertently exposed to the fungus.

Lincoln University assistant vice-chancellor Stefanie Rixecker says researchers had believed they were working with a wild fungus, before it was discovered it had a genetic marker attached to it.

The university took breaches of containment very seriously and the investigation would be very thorough, she said.

The Green Party says the release is a "massive wake up call to our environmental regulators".

"It's absolutely not acceptable that almost two weeks after this breach the ministry still doesn't know how it occurred," said genetic engineering spokesman Steffan Browning.

CRUNCH TIME TO PROTECT OUR EXISTING VALUABLE GE FREE STATUS IN NORTHLAND- OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A FURTHER SUBMISSION TO THE NRC PROPOSED REGIONAL POLICY STATEMENT

Crunch time to protect our existing valuable GE free status in Northland

Urgent CALL TO ACTION :) from GE FREE NORTHLAND

The good news- over 330 anti-GMO original submissions were made by Northlanders and their District Councils to the NRC proposed Regional Policy Statement (the over arching document for Northland for the next 10 years) last December.  These submissions asked the NRC in no uncertain terms to include a precautionary GE policy/ provision (at the very least! ...many submittors prefer outright prohibition of all outdoor GMOs) in the NRC new Regional Policy Statement

Well done! to everyone who made a submission!

The bad news is- both "Federated Farmers of NZ" (headquarters in Hamilton) and the Northland farming organisation that calls itself "Farmers of NZ" (NRC Clr Ian Walker is the President of "Farmers of NZ"!) have made original submissions to the NRC.  The GE section of their submissions oppose the NRC including any "methods, policies or rules" to deal with GMOs on a local level, or even the NRC including a precautionary GE policy/ provision in the NRC new Regional Policy Statement...they also object to the NRC identifying the GE issue as an Issue of Significance for Northland.

The submission by Federated Farmers of NZ...and... the submission by Farmers of NZ (Northland) must be challenged!
It is of grave concern that NRC Clr Ian Walker is both President of "Farmers of NZ", (the Northland farming lobby group who submitted against the NRC identifying the GE issue as an Issue of Significance for Northland) and the Chairman of the NRC Regional Policy Committee (clear conflict of interest).  Clr Walker was instrumental in getting the precautionary GE provision- that the NRC itself proposed in the NRC RPS Discussion Document 2010- dropped from the NRC proposed RPS

GMOs: Councils Consider Prohibiting Commercial Outdoor Uses



GMOs: Councils Consider Prohibiting Commercial Outdoor Uses

Monday, 4 February 2013, 11:59 am
Press Release: Whangarei District Council


Media Release

4 February 2013

ACTION ALERT protect our existing valuable GE free status- have yr say NRC proposed RPS document missing the precautionary

Do you want to protect Northland's existing valuable GE free status? 

Do you want the Northland Regional Council to retain their precautionary GE provision (policy)?

Would you like an over arching precautionary policy for the region, to address various environmental threats like GMOs and mining?

10 minutes action now, lobbying Northland Regional Council through your written submission,  can help protect our region from GMOs... and ...achieve NZ"s first enforceable Regional Exclusion Zone for GMOs

ACTION ALERT:

Northland Regional Council has released the NRC proposed Regional Policy Statement (RPS), the over arching document for the next 10 years for Northland region.

The document has a glaring omission- - it is missing the council's own precautionary GE provision (policy) that you, the ratepayers, have already supported through a multitude of submissions during the informal stage of the NRC Regional Policy Statement review
www.nrc.govt.nz/Your-Council/Council-Projects/New-Regional-Policy-Statement-/Have-your-say---Proposed-RPS/

Submissions close Monday, 3 December 2012, 5pm (see below for details on how to make a submission- it's easy!)

Have your say - Proposed RPS

The Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland – which includes proposed maps of Northland’s outstanding areas and coastal land – is now out for public consultation.  This is your opportunity to achieve sound environmental and economic outcomes on a range of important issues.

the NRC says on their website: "We want your views to know if we’ve got it right."  

On the specific GE issue, the NRC has got it badly wrong!

ACTION ALERT protect our existing valuable GE free status- have yr say NRC proposed RPS document missing the precautionary

Do you want to protect Northland's existing valuable GE free status? 

Do you want the Northland Regional Council to retain their precautionary GE provision (policy)?

Would you like an over arching precautionary policy for the region, to address various environmental threats like GMOs and mining?

10 minutes action now, lobbying Northland Regional Council through your written submission,  can help protect our region from GMOs... and ...achieve NZ"s first enforceable Regional Exclusion Zone for GMOs

ACTION ALERT:

Northland Regional Council has released the NRC proposed Regional Policy Statement (RPS), the over arching document for the next 10 years for Northland region.

The document has a glaring omission- - it is missing the council's own precautionary GE provision (policy) that you, the ratepayers, have already supported through a multitude of submissions during the informal stage of the NRC Regional Policy Statement review
www.nrc.govt.nz/Your-Council/Council-Projects/New-Regional-Policy-Statement-/Have-your-say---Proposed-RPS/

Submissions close Monday, 3 December 2012, 5pm (see below for details on how to make a submission- it's easy!)

Have your say - Proposed RPS

The Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland – which includes proposed maps of Northland’s outstanding areas and coastal land – is now out for public consultation.  This is your opportunity to achieve sound environmental and economic outcomes on a range of important issues.

the NRC says on their website: "We want your views to know if we’ve got it right."  

On the specific GE issue, the NRC has got it badly wrong!

GM free means good sales for NZ

GM-free means good sales for NZ

STEPHANIE HOWARD

AUSTRALIAN FARMERS HIGHLIGHT GE DANGERS

GE FREE NORTHLAND Press Release
 ll August 2012

AUSTRALIAN FARMERS HIGHLIGHT GE DANGERS


"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.

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