Genetic Engineering (GMO land use) has no place in QUALITY primary production
and puts our economy, key markets, environment and health at risk.

Northland Regional Council REJECTS all submissions on GE, asking the NRC to include a precautionary GE provision in our new RPS

CALL FOR LETTERS TO EDITOR!!

 

email:

editor@northernadvocate.co.nz

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

GM stance praised (Whangarei District Council takes action to stop GMO land use)

GM stance praised

Last updated 09:27 21/03/2013









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Kerikeri Bay Chronicle

  

Jubilation is the word used by GE Free Northland, in response to a Whangarei District Council stand against genetically modified organisms on its land.

The council voted unanimously this month to act on the recommendations of the Inter Council Working Party on GMO risk evaluation and management options.

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.

Council brings control of outdoor use of genetically modified organisms a step closer


WHANGAREI DISTRICT COUNCIL

Media Release  14 March 2013

 

Council brings control of outdoor use of genetically modified organisms a step closer

 

 

www.wdc.govt.nz/NewsRoom/Latest-News/Pages/Outdoor-GMO-control-systems-on-way.aspx

 

Introducing a robust, legal way for local government to manage the risks posed by outdoor use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a step closer following a decision by Whangarei District Council’s District Living Committee.

 

WHANGAREI DISTRICT COUNCIL TAKES A STAND AGAINST GMO LAND USE

  GE FREE NZ (Northland)  in food and environment

NORTHERN COUNCILS COLLABORATIVELY ADDRESS THE RISKS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS TO THE REGION




GE FREE NORTHLAND in food and environment

Press Release   5 February 2013

NORTHERN COUNCILS COLLABORATIVELY ADDRESS THE RISKS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS TO THE REGION

GE Free Northland welcomes the recommendations of the Inter Council Working Party on GMOs, publicly released yesterday on behalf of its member councils from south Auckland to Cape Reinga. The ICWP on GMOs has produced draft planning provisions, a section 32 evaluation supporting those provisions, and a legal opinion from Dr. Royden Somerville QC, for the Northland /Auckland councils to consider.

The councils have carried out a thorough evaluation of the necessity for regulation of GMOs at a district and/ or regional level, in addition to national regulation under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.

"We congratulate Whangarei, Kaipara and Far North District Council and Auckland Council for funding this collaborative work, which confirms the widely held view that a strong precautionary approach to GMOs, or even outright prohibition, is necessary to prevent potentially enormous costs falling on ratepayers from damage arising from GE experiments or release of GE organisms", said Martin Robinson, spokesperson for GE Free Northland

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

GE Free Northland ...meeting... Whangarei, 6pm Tues 5 February at CBEC Ecosolutions

Gidday Greenies,

GE Free Northland is holding a strategic meeting, regarding the NRC Regional Policy Statement review, and how we can constructively participate in the next round of submissions...and also good news regarding the innovative work of the Northland / Auckland INTER COUNCIL WORKING PARTY ON GMO RISK EVALUATION & MANAGEMENT OPTIONS

ALL welcome :)

Thanks to everyone who already made submissions to the NRC proposed RPS...but there is more to be done to achieve sound environmental and economic outcomes in our region

Tuesday evening, 6pm   Venue: Eco Solutions (CBEC) Environment Centre, 3 Bank St Whangarei (opposite the Rose St bus depot and the Grand Hotel

More info: Zelka Linda Grammer, Chairperson, GE Free Northland  09 4322155  Maungakaramea
email: linda.grammer@gmail.com

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!

Crown Research Institute Speaks With Forked Tongue In Opposing GMO Accountability

http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20120913.htm

Crown Research Institute Speaks With Forked Tongue In Opposing GMO Accountability   

 

GE FREE NZ Press Release

13 September 2012

 

GE Free NZ and Bay of Plenty ratepayers who were original submitters to a local Bay of Plenty plan have received notice of an appeal to the Environment Court, lodged by NZ Crown Research Institute Scion. This appeal contests the Environment Bay of Plenty Regional council's (BOPRC) "Precautionary approach" to GMO release and field trialling in the region.

GM free means good sales for NZ

GM-free means good sales for NZ

STEPHANIE HOWARD

GE not in our best interest


GE not in our best interest

Green Party Press Release  5 September 2012

www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/ge-not-our-best-interest

The United States State Department and American multinational companies have been pushing for the release of genetically engineered food into the New Zealand environment at a biotechnology conference being held in Rotorua this week, the Green Party said today.

The ABIC 2012 conference being held in Rotorua is dubbed the 'World Cup' of biotechnology and has seen a huge push from vested interests for GE release into the environment despite public opposition to such a move.

"The primary benefactors of Genetic Engineering (GE) are US corporate interests not New Zealand farmers," Green Party primary production spokesperson Steffan Browning said.

"The GE focused ABIC 2012 conference in Rotorua this week, is clearly part of a strong push towards GE farming in Aotearoa New Zealand by large multinational companies and Washington.

"The US State Department presence at the Rotorua conference shows that pushing GE is part of US foreign policy as much as it is in the interests of big corporates like DuPont and Monsanto.

"Consumers around the world don't want a bar of GE and if New Zealand wants to continue reaping the benefits of exporting high value-added produce, we need to steer clear.

"GE will not enable more exports - it risks locking our produce out of markets and tarnishing our clean green brand. GE is not smart, green economics.

"We can add more value to our agricultural exports by leveraging our clean, safe, 100% Pure brand.

"Instead of putting our whole agriculture sector at risk we need to be investing in clean green technology to create jobs.

'Find Ethical Path' Biotech Delegates Urged: "Don't be Evil"


http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20120901.htm

 

GE FREE NZ Press Release

01/09/2012

'Find Ethical Path' Biotech Delegates Urged: "Don't be Evil"

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.

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.

Call to Action- make your submission to Northland Regional Council, protect our existing valuable GE free status

 

 

ACTION ALERT:  

Call the NRC into line - Submissions needed by 3pm, 19 April!!

Dear supporters of GE Free Northland :)

ACTION ALERT: your submissions are needed to the NRC draft Long Term Council Community Plan 2012/22
(deadline 3pm, Thursday 19 April 2012)

please help us achieve sound environmental outcomes and protect our existing valuable GE free status and growing organic industry ;)

Now is the time to influence what the Northland Regional Council does for the next 10 years – with our ratepayer $$$.   NRC is currently asking for your feedback on our Draft Long Term Plan- don't miss out!

In addition to any other environmental concerns you may have (protection of Northland public and conservation lands from mining and so forth, how to better protect Northland freshwater lakes and rivers), it is important that Northlanders let the NRC know that the very short (and rather weak) precautionary GE policy written in the NRC draft LTCP needs strengthening.

Whangarei District Council has an excellent, strong precautionary GE policy in its draft LTCCP 2012/22- NRC needs to lift its game!

Send your submission by 3pm, l9 April to:

email:
mailroom@nrc.govt.nz

by post:
NRC draft LTCCP 2012/22 document
Northland Regional Council
Private Bag 9021
Whangarei 0148


or...if time is too short to post... drop off by hand to your local NRC office (in Whangarei, Water Street)

other quick options:

Fax (09) 438 0012

online submission:

http://haveyoursay.nrc.govt.nz/ltpandrltp


Call to Action- make your submission to Northland Regional Concil, protect our existing valuable GE free status

Call to Action- Have your Say on GMOs in Northland.    Protect our
existing valuable GE free status!

Submissions needed to Northland Regional Council by 3pm, Friday  9th
December 2011 in response to the NRC draft Regional Policy Statement
(RPS) document.

It's easy - with our key points/ suggestions below :)       thanks!
for your help.


What's it all about?

The Draft New RPS for Northland provides a broad direction and
framework for managing Northland's natural and physical resources,
including land, water, minerals, plants, animals and built structures.

 It is made up of:

Principles to guide the way it is carried out, identified regionally
significant issues, objectives to address the issues, and policies and
methods to achieve the objectives.  You can access the Draft new RPS
using the link below.

It is only reviewed once every 10 years, and certain individuals are
trying to weaken important environmental policies and focus unduly on
economic development.

www.nrc.govt.nz/Your-Council/Council-Projects/New-Regional-Policy-Statement-/Draft-RPS-released/

In addition to whatever other issues are of concern to you, there is
an urgent need to make submissions to the NRC noting the glaring
omission of the NRC's precautionary GE policy, as proposed in the NRC
RPS Discussion Document 2010.

In response to this precautionary GE provision (put forward by the NRC
last year), the NRC received the largest number of submissions made on
any issue raised in the NRC RPS Discussion document 2010, supporting a

Government Research Agenda Goes Against New Zealand Brand

GE FREE NZ Press Release

21 November 2011

Government Research Agenda Goes Against New Zealand Brand


The Ministry of Environment's research into promoting greater use of novel organisms is off-stategy for the New Zealand Brand and shows an intention to dilute bio-security standards. 


NORTHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL NRC NEEDS TO DO MORE TO SUPPORT NORTHLAND TERRITORIAL AUTHORITIES AND THE AUCKLAND COUNCIL IN KEEPING RISKY GMOs OUT OF THE REGION

GE FREE NORTHLAND Press Release l6 November 2011

NRC NEEDS TO DO MORE TO SUPPORT NORTHLAND TERRITORIAL AUTHORITIES AND
THE AUCKLAND COUNCIL IN KEEPING RISKY GMOs OUT OF THE REGION


GE Free Northland are pleased by the NRC decision yesterday to
reaffirm its own precautionary GE policy and to appoint NRC Chairman
Craig Brown to represent the council on the Inter Council Working
Party on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

"We are concerned, however, that the NRC failed to vote to contribute
funds towards the collaborative section 32 analysis on GMOs that all
Northland territorial authorities and Auckland Council are
undertaking," said Martin Robinson, GE Free Northland spokesperson.

There is sustained concern in Northland and other parts of New
Zealand, about genetic engineering (GE) experiments and releases in
this country, particularly in view of the documented adverse impacts
of GMOs overseas and inadequately contained GE experiments in NZ.

“Nonetheless, central government continues to ignore local community
and independent scientists concerns about GMOs,” said Mr. Robinson.

"Therefore, the NRC needs to put its shoulder to the wheel and support
its territorial authorities and Auckland Council and contribute
funding to the important current work programme of the ICWP on GMOs".

"The NRC is supposed to be the over arching environmental protection
authority for the region. In addition, NRC contributing funds would be
a fiscally prudent move- as by doing the work collaboratively,
councils can share costs and staff expertise".

NRC Chairman Craig Brown responds:

"Having been involved in the process of investigating the risks of
GMOs for well over 10 years, I am disappointed that my council did not

NORTHLAND LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND AUCKLAND COUNCIL COLLABORATIVELY INVESTIGATE LOCAL GMO CONTROLS

GE Free Northland Press Release
13 November 2011

NORTHLAND LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND AUCKLAND COUNCIL COLLABORATIVELY
INVESTIGATE LOCAL GMO CONTROLS

GE Free Northland are delighted by the recent news that Kaipara
District Council voted to join Auckland Council “super city”, Far
North District Council to collaborate with Whangarei District Council
in the investigation of some type local regulation of Genetically
Modified Organisms (GMOs).

KDC Mayor Neil Tiller is the new Kaipara District Council
representative on the  Auckland/Northland  "Inter Council Working
Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Management Options".

At least four councils are now set to investigate a plan change and
section 32 analysis of GMOs, because of the risks to our biosecurity,
environment, economy, and the livelihoods of existing non -GM primary
producers.

Northland Regional Council will vote on Tuesday l5 November 2011,
whether NRC will join in this important work, in keeping with their
official precautionary GE policies.

There is sustained concern in Northland and other parts of New
Zealand, about genetic engineering (GE) experiments and releases in
this country, particularly in view of the documented adverse impacts
of GMOs overseas.

“Nonetheless, central government continues to ignore local community
and independent scientists concerns about GMOs,” said Martin Robinson,
GE Free Northland spokesperson.

"Therefore, the NRC needs to put its shoulder to the wheel and support
its territorial authorities and Auckland Council and contribute
funding to the important current work programme of the ICWP on GMOs".

Whangarei councillors have already unanimously rejected the outdoor

Time for Northland Regional Council to support its territorial authorities and Auckland Council "super city" in keeping GMOs out of the region

ACTION ALERT

 

Want to help to protect our existing valuable GE free
status from GE experiments and releases on our patch?


You can make a difference.

WHY?
A hugely important meeting of the Northland Regional Council is being
held this Tuesday, 15 November at Kaikohe, where your councillors will
vote on a important GE agenda item.

 

see


www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/159518017436869/

Northland local authorities and Auckland Council collaboratively investigate local GMO controls

GE Free Northland Press Release

24 July 2011
 
Northland local authorities and Auckland Council collaboratively investigate local GMO controls
 
GE Free Northland are delighted by the news that the Auckland Council “super city” and Far North District Council have made a commitment to collaborate with Whangarei District Council in the investigation of some type of regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
 
At least three councils are now set to investigate a plan change and section 32 analysis of GMOs, because of the risks to our biosecurity, environment

NORTH GATHERS GE FREE CLOUT

27 July 2011 Northern Advocate

NOTHERN ADVOCATE

"North gathers GE free clout"

by Lindy Laird

Eco activists destroy Australian GM wheat crop

AFP - Thu, Jul 14, 2011

        Environmental activists broke into an Australian government research farm Thursday and destroyed an experimental crop of genetically-modified wheat protesting against what they said were safety issues.
       Armed with weed trimmers, three Greenpeace activists scaled a fence at the Canberra facility in the early hours of the morning and razed the crop, which had been modified to lower its glycemic index and increase fibre.
      The government science agency running the trials, CSIRO, confirmed there had been "a break-in overnight at their crop trial site" and it was assessing the damage.
      "The police, and the government's gene technology regulatory authority ... have been informed and are inspecting the site," a CSIRO spokesman told AFP.
"CSIRO is currently assessing the damage to the trial crops and considering next steps."
        Greenpeace said the activists, three women, wore hazardous materials suits to keep them from carrying GM organisms out of the site, and were motivated by concerns about the trial's safety.

Human Trials of GE-Wheat Unethical



Proposals for extending animal feeding studies for GE wheat to humans are unethical and signal the need for an urgent overhaul of the science used by regulators to approve scores of GM foods.

A group of international scientists has warned the developers of a GE-Wheat at the CSIRO in Australia against the proposals. There is an acute ethical issue in the lack of long-term feeding studies in animals, which in some cases show complex and inter-generational harm from the GE food tested of which none of the GM foods approved by Food Authorities have undergone human studies.

Research has recently been published by Professor Peter Gluckman - the New Zealand government's chief scientific advisor - which reveals the complex epigenetic effects relating to maternal diet. The effects continue to the next generation in a way that is not yet understood. This complexity is simply not considered or addressed in safety testing of GE food.

The GE-Wheat been not been adequately tested in animals to even be considered as a candidate for human feeding studies. 

"New Zealand scientists should condemn human feeding trials of GM foods in Australia, and elsewhere," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ in food and environment.

Overseas there are reports of GE "golden" rice also being used in human feeding trials, despite the risks to human health being entirely unnecessary.

"It cannot be ethical to be experimenting on humans with Genetically Engineered food when the disease targeted by the golden-rice magic bullet can easily be prevented," says Jon Carapiet.

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