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

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.

COUNCIL REJECTION OF GE DESERVES SUPPORT

Guest View as published today's 9 May 2011 Northern Advocate (p. 6), under the heading

COUNCIL REJECTION OF GE DESERVES SUPPORT

 

COUNCIL REJECTION OF GE DESERVES SUPPORT

By

Zelka Grammer

GE Free Northland chairwoman

9 May 2011

NORTHERN ADVOCATE

Cheers WDC for saying NO to GE.

Whangarei councillors recently made history by unanimously rejected the outdoor use of genetically engineered crops and animals in Whangarei District.

WDC is now asking other Northland councils to join in a collaborative plan change to ban all GMOs in our region.

This is a wise move considering that a big multinational like Monsanto or Crown Research Institutes can apply for GE experiments or releases on our patch, without being liable for any harm caused.

After lobbying central government for over 7 years to fix the flaws and gaps in the national minimal legislation that covers GE, local councils have finally had enough and are saying no to GE.

Deformed GE salmon, blends of transgenic animals (including human genes) , GE trees and GE crops that contain insecticide in every cell and gene are the types of experiments Council wants to ban locally to protect our biosecurity, farmers, rural communities and public health.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) approved experiments with GM cattle resulting in high mortality rates and gross deformities. Six-month-old calves who appeared "normal" unexpectedly died when their internal organs ruptured.

NO to Genetic Engineering

NO to Genetic Engineering

("Our Town" column)

by

Whangarei Mayor Morris Cutforth

in the Whangarei Report, Thursday 28 April 2011

 

A constant theme of my mayoralty is that Council needs to listen to the people. A prime example of the will of the people making itself felt is over the controversial issue of genetic engineering.

GE is the 'most-submitted' issue WDC has ever had, attracting over 7,000 submissions of which around 90% were in favour of ensuring Whangarei District remains GE free. Council has heard what people have said and supported it. Last week we voted unanimously to investigate regulating genetically modified organisms through the District Plan in conjunction with other councils in Northland and Auckland. This will most likely mean that releases of GMOs will be prohibited and resource consents will be needed for GE trials in Northland and Auckland.

I am delighted that I have come to Council at this epic point in an eight year journey, where in essence we are saying 'no!' to genetic engineering. Before I was elected to Council I didn't have a strong view one way or the other about GE, but since I have become more involved I have met many people who are passionate about it. After listening to their stories about what can go wrong - often at a very real and personal level - I can understand their passion and I am glad we are able to do something practical at last. And just as importantly, Whangarei and Northland are being seen as taking the lead in an important national and international issue.

Cheers for the WDC- saying NO to GE

Cheers for the WDC- saying NO to GE

           Whangarei councillors have unanimously, and historically, rejected the outdoor use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Whangarei District.  WDC is asking other Northland councils to join in a collaborative plan change, to ban all GMOs in our region (a wise move considering that at any moment, a big multinational like Monsanto or Crown Research Institutes can apply for GE experiments or releases on our patch, without being liable for harm caused).

WHANGAREI STEPS CLOSER TO A GMO BAN

 

 

 

 

www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/northland/whangarei-leader/4904334/Steps-closer-to-a-GMO-ban

Steps closer to a GMO ban

WHANGAREI LEADER

by

Denise Piper

19/04/2011

Cheers and claps supported Whangarei district councillors as they made a move to ban genetically modified organisms in the district.

At an environment committee meeting last Wednesday councillors unanimously voted to investigate regulating GMOs through the district plan.

The regulation is likely to prohibit releases of GMOs to the environment and requiring resource consents for GE trials.

Whangarei is the first council to agree to regulation but it hopes it will be joined by other councils in Northland and Auckland who are part of the Inter-council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options.

That would mean the costs can be shared. But councillor Crichton Christie says the council will go it alone if necessary.

"This has been eight years in the making. At the end of the day this is about managing the risk that this council has over genetic engineering – it is not about whether you agree with GE or not," he says.

"It would be nice if the other councils came with us but if not we still have to manage the risk."

Environment Minister Nick Smith has confirmed the costs of environmental damage from a GMO release gone wrong could rest with the council and neighbouring property owners.

WHANGAREI DISTRICT COUNCIL MOVES TO PROTECT ITS COMMUNITY FROM GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS

GE FREE NORTHLAND

Press Release 15 April 2011

 

Whangarei District Council moves to protect its community from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

 

Whangarei District Councillors have voted unanimously to reject the outdoor use of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals in the District.   Whangarei District Council will now (in addition to its own District Plan change to prevent GMO land use) actively seek to undertake a collaborative plan change with all Northland councils and Auckland Council to keep GMOs out of the wider region.

 

Well done WDC!

WHANGAREI DISTRICT COUNCIL VOTES UNANIMOUS WAY FORWARD FOR STOPPING GE

13 April 2011

 News release

 Whangarei vote unanimous on way forward for GE

 

www.wdc.govt.nz/NewsRoom/MediaReleases/2011-Media-Releases/Pages/Whangarei-vote-unanimous-on-way-forwardforGE.aspx

 Whangarei District Council (WDC) has taken a leadership position on the controversial issue of genetic engineering. Councillors voted unanimously today at their Environment Committee Meeting to investigate regulating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) through the District Plan in conjunction with other councils in Northland and Auckland. The regulation would most likely take the form of prohibiting releases of GMOs to the environment and requiring resource consents for GE trials undertaken in Northland and Auckland.

NORTHLAND CAN LEAD ANTI GMO FIGHT

 

see

 

 

http://whangareileader.realviewdigital.com/#

letters to editor:

email: whangarei.editor@snl.co.nz

 

ACTIVISTS SAY NORTHLAND CAN LEAD ANTI GMO FIGHT

by Denise Piper

l4 April 2011

WHANGAREI LEADER

A grassroots movement against Genetically Modified Organisms could start in Northland, activists say.

Councils can now restrict or prevent the outdoor use of Genetically Modified Organisms under the Resource Management Act.

Clarification from Environment Minister Nick Smith means GMOs could be banned entirely if the community wants.

Previously councils were warned that if they got involved in controlling the organisms they could assume some of the liability for any future problems caused by GMOs.

The Northland Regional and Whangarei District Councils are part of an Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Management Options.

The Working Party has now commissioned a report to identify the optimal wording for any rules in the council's District Plans or Regional Policy Statements.

Working Party Chairman Dr. Kerry Grundy will be giving Whangarei councillors more information at their Environment Committee meeting tomorrow.

GE Free Northland spokeswoman Zelka Grammer says there is an opportunity for Whangarei and Northland to lead the rest of the country agains GMOs- the same way New Zealand's nuclear free movement started at a community level.

The situation in Japan shows that there is are damn good reasons why there's prohibition of nuclear reactors and I would say there's damn good reasons to prohibit GMOs.

SECRET GE PINE EXPERIMENTS AT ROTORUA SITE A THREAT TO NZ'S BIOSECURITY AND FORESTRY

 

 

 

GE FREE NORTHLAND Press Release

16 March 2011

SECRET GE PINE EXPERIMENTS AT ROTORUA SITE A THREAT TO NZ'S BIOSECURITY AND FORESTRY

GE Free Northland shares the concerns expressed by many New Zealanders about ERMA’s recent approval of Scion’s GE pine application for 4,000 GE pines, at secret sites at the Scion Rotorua property.

The Scion application contains information that is misleading and inaccurate. Implementation of this field trial would expose the country's economy and environment to serious risks.

Previous GE field trials by NZ Crown Research Institutes have been found to be in breach of the conditions of approval by ERMA. Given that Scion (despite public opposition) has used public funding for this risky GE experiment, it is even more important to know where GE trials are being conducted, to keep the inspectors and trial operators honest.

"GE pine pollen travels long distances and cannot be constrained to one known site, but the public must at least know where this site is, in order for them to be informed of risks and to be able to keep an eye on the GE trees."

"How are 4,000 trees going to be monitored in safety when previously 70 GE trees could not be properly looked after by Scion?" asked Martin Robinson, spokesperson for GE Free NZ (Northland).

An example of misleading information from Scion is their claim that pine pollen only disperses for 300 metres. However, a number of recent scientific publications have reported viable pine pollen spreading up to 60 kilometres.

Research published last year showed that pine pollen travels up to 41 kms in as little as 3 hours in moderate winds. At higher wind speeds pollen can travel this distance in 45 minutes, reaching altitudes of 610 metres.

GE FREE NORTHLAND AGM Monday, l4 March 2011 WHANGAREI

GE FREE NORTHLAND (in food and environment) Annual General Meeting

 

Monday, l4 March 2011-  at 7pm

Venue:  Eco Solutions, 3a Bank St, Whangarei

(opposite the Whangarei bus depot & the Grand Hotel)

 

ANIMAL DEATH TOLL ENDS CLONING TRIALS

 

letters to editor:

email: letters@dompost.co.nz

 

 

www.stuff.co.nz/national/4681283/Animal-death-toll-ends-cloning-trials

Animal death toll ends cloning trials

DOMINION POST

by Kiran Chug

21/02/2011

STOPPED: AgResearch has ended its cloning trials after acceptable death rates were recorded.

Unacceptable death rates of laboratory animals have forced AgResearch to end its cloning trials.

But the science agency says it will continue to create more genetically engineered animals using new research methods.

The state research organisation has issued reports into trials conducted at its Ruakura centre that detail chronic arthritis, pneumonia, lameness and blood poisoning among the causes of cattle, sheep and goat deaths.

The reports, made available to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, refer to trials including those carried out on genetically engineered animals being developed to produce a kind of super milk, as well as animals being cloned.

Other trials where deaths occurred included those looking for resistance to eczema in sheep, exploring feeding motivation in pregnant sheep, and collecting tissue from genetically modified embryos.

Applied biotechnologies general manager Jimmy Suttie said that after 13 years of studying how to prevent abnormalities forming in cloned animals, AgResearch had ended its cloning research.

"The decision was made, enough is enough."

Inquiry into AgResearch GE experiments needed

Inquiry into AgResearch GE experiments needed

GREENS PRESS RELEASE  21 FEBRUARY 2011

 Contact: Sue Kedgley MP

It is time for AgResearch to admit the failure of its genetic engineering experiments on animals and halt these experiments altogether, the Green Party said today.

 

"A full Parliamentary inquiry is needed into the ethics and animal welfare issues surrounding the failed GE trials at AgResearch's Ruakura facility," Green Party Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

There has been a veil of secrecy surrounding AgResearch’s GE animal experiments which it conducts using taxpayers’ money. It’s time to lift the lid on that research and consider the animal welfare and ethical implications of creating GE animals.

 

AgResearch has today revealed unacceptably high death rates among its genetically engineered laboratory animals. It also revealed that deformities including lameness, chronic arthritis and a high rate of foetal deaths, has forced it to abandon its experiments to create GE animals by cloning techniques.

 

"Yet AgResearch still intends to push on with its GE animal experiments, using unproven, experimental techniques," Ms Kedgley said.

 

Ruakura pulls pin on cloning facility

 

letters to editor:

email: news@waikatotimes.co.nz

 

 

www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/farming/4683770/Ruakura-pulls-pin-on-cloning-facility

Ruakura pulls pin on cloning facility

CHRIS GARDNER AND KIRAN CHUG

Waikato Times

Last updated 13:00 21/02/2011

The axe has fallen on AgResearch's controversial livestock cloning facility at Ruakura amid reports only 10 per cent of animals involved survived.

But applied biotechnologies general manager Jimmy Suttie said this morning the Hamilton facility – capable of containing up to 200 animals – had closed in September because stem cell research showed more promise.

Reports released by the Crown research institute under the Official Information Act show unacceptable death rates of laboratory animals forced AgResearch to end its cloning trials.

The reports detail chronic arthritis, pneumonia, lameness and blood poisoning among the causes of cattle, sheep and goat deaths and refer to trials including those carried out on genetically engineered animals being developed to produce a kind of super milk, as well as those being cloned.

Other trials where deaths occurred included those looking for resistance to eczema in sheep, exploring feeding motivation in pregnant sheep, and collecting tissue from genetically modified embryos.

Dr Suttie said that after 13 years of studying how to prevent abnormalities forming in cloned animals AgResearch had ended its cloning research.

"The decision was made, enough is enough."

EU beekeepers stage win against GM crop producers

EU beekeepers stage win against GM crop producers
 
The EU's highest court may classify honey containing traces of genetically modified material as "food produced" from modified plants. Such a ruling may enable beekeepers with hives close to GM crops to seek damages.

100% Pure USA Drive Towards New Zealand As A GE Nation

 

Media Release

Attention: Environment, Tourism, Business, Health, Science, Education, Food, Farming and Political Reporters

Have your Say: Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"

 

 

 

Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"

(part of the NRC "Regional Policy Statement" Review) 25 November 2010

The Northland Regional Council is developing a new Regional Policy Statement (RPS), which happens once every ten years. The NRC has just released its "New RPS Discussion Document 2010" (you can obtain a hard copy by ringing or emailing the council and have your say to help shape Northland’s future).

The NRC says it wants to "improve the management of Northland’s natural and physical resources (land, water, air, soil, minerals, energy, all plants and animals, and all built structures)" but, if we want to ensure we get sound environmental provisions in our RPS, that means we have to engage and participate right now in order to influence the outcome.

This is especially necessary as we have already identified inaccurate and misleading content in the "Biodiversity/Ecosystems" section of the "New RPS Discussion Document 2010", specifically about GE/GMOs and the important liability issue.

GE Free Northland has done a detailed analysis of this and put together some key points on the GE issue to make it easy for submittors to give their feedback to the NRC regarding Genetically Modified Organisms, supporting a strong prohibitive provision in the RPS. This is a great opportunity to put forward a good case for sound environmental, economic and biosecurity outcomes in the Regional Policy Statement, which then the Northland territorial authorities will have to give effect to through their District plans.

GENETIC ENGINEERING/GMOs

CALL TO ACTION- Opportunity to stop an application for 4,000 GE pine trees in NZ

CALL TO ACTION- Opportunity to stop an application for 4,000 GE pine trees in NZ

 

Scion (formerly “Forest Research”), a NZ Crown Research Institute, has lodged an application for GE pine trees

 

CROWN ENTITY 'COWBOYS' IRK GE OPPONENTS

 

 

 

www.northernadvocate.co.nz/local/news/crown-entity-cowboys-irk-ge-opponents/3920084/

Crown entity 'cowboys' irk GE opponents

NORTHERN ADVOCATE

by

Lindy Laird Monday 23rd August 2010

A spokesperson for GE Free Northland says state-owned "cowboys" with a bad track record are trying to ride roughshod over a Northland council.

Zelka Grammer has voiced her concerns after the crown research institute Plant and Food Research lodged an "11th hour" cross-submission to the Kaipara District Council's District Plan.

Plant and Food's submission argued that a district council should not be involved in decision-making about GE.

It also described as "invalid" the local submissions calling for GE policy to be written into the district plan.

Plant and Food's timing gave parties who had made submissions on the topic no time to lodge cross submissions.

Local submissions asked for the existing precautionary GE policy be set in law, and for liability for any problems caused by GE experiments to fall on the applicants. Kaipara's precautionary GE policy is already in the council's 2009/19 Long Term Council Community Plan (TCCP) and Annual Plan 2010/ll.

Ms Grammer said Plant and Food's last-minute cross submission was both inappropriate and misleading.

"A New Zealand crown research institute with such an appalling track record of botched GE experiments should understand full well why local authorities are considering putting in place additional safeguards against genetically modified organisms," she said.

LAB ERRORS LEAD TO GE LEAK

 

 

 

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10662711

National News

Lab errors leads to GE leak

NZ HERALD

By David Fisher

4:00 AM Sunday Aug 1, 2010

 

Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

A probe into the escape of genetically engineered plants from a government laboratory found scientists had left routes open.

Scientists also washed out their high-security specialist containment laboratory with water that was flushed straight into the storm water system.

Details of a criminal investigation into a GE breach at a Plant and Food Research glasshouse laboratory are exposed in papers released under the Official Information Act.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry documents describe a slew of failures and oversights by the government agencies charged with overseeing New Zealand GE laws.

The errors were made by the Environmental Risk and Management Authority, charged with allowing the importation and use of GE material; Plant and Food Research; and MAF, which audits the controls.

The investigation by MAF's enforcement unit was launched after GE cress plants (arabidopsis thaliana) were found growing outside a supposedly secure glasshouse.

The glasshouse was on Lincoln University property in Christchurch but leased out to Plant and Food Research for its experiments.

A senior staff member followed protocols and alerted MAF after the cress leak.

Mutant cows die in GM trial

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10642031

Mutant cows die in GM trial

By Eloise Gibson 4:00 AM Saturday May 1, 2010

NZ HERALD

 

Photo / Hawke's Bay TodayGenetically modified cows were born with ovaries that grew so large they caused ruptures and killed the animals.

The bungled experiment happened during a study by AgResearch scientists at Ruakura, Hamilton, to find human fertility treatments through GM cows' milk.

AgResearch is studying tissue from one of three dead calves to try to find out what made the ovaries grow up to the size of tennis balls rather than the usual thumbnail-size.

Details of the deaths - in veterinary reports released to the Weekend Herald under the Official Information Act - have reignited debate over the ethics of GM trials on animals.

AgResearch's applied technologies group manager, Dr Jimmy Suttie, said he did not see the deaths as a "big deal", and they were part of the learning process for scientists.

But GE-Free NZ spokesman Jon Carapiet said details of the calf trial showed the animal welfare committee overseeing AgResearch's work was "miles away from the ethics and values of the community".

The calves died last year, aged six months. They were formed when human genetic code injected into a cow cell was added to an egg from a cow's ovary and put into a cow's uterus.

The scientists hoped that the genetic code, a human follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), would enable the cows that were produced to produce milk containing compounds that could be used as a human fertility treatment.

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html?scp=1&sq=Farmers%20Cope%20With%20Roundup-Resistant%20Weeds&st=cse

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

Christopher Berkey for The New York Times

Jason Hamlin, a certified crop adviser and agronomist, looks for weeds resistant to glyphosate in Dyersburg, Tenn. By WILLIAM NEUMAN and ANDREW POLLACK

Published: May 3, 2010


On a recent afternoon here, Mr. Anderson watched as tractors crisscrossed a rolling field — plowing and mixing herbicides into the soil to kill weeds where soybeans will soon be planted.

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds.

To fight them, Mr. Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

"We’re back to where we were 20 years ago," said Mr. Anderson, who will plow about one-third of his 3,000 acres of soybean fields this spring, more than he has in years. "We’re trying to find out what works."

Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water.

"It is the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen," said Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

‘Carte Blanche’ GE Animal Decision Shows Value In GE Free Zones

 

GE FREE NORTHLAND Press Release

l6 April 2010

‘Carte Blanche’ GE Animal Decision Shows Value In GE Free Zones

GE Free Northland is appalled at the Environmental Risk Management Authority's (ERMA) decision to give an approval for genetic engineering of sheep, cows, and goats.

"This application shows total disregard for the concerns of the vast majority of New Zealanders and for New Zealand's reputation overseas," said Zelka Grammer, GE free Northland spokesperson. "AgResearch's push for further cloning of GE animals will increase animal suffering".(1)

Expert witness Dr. Judith Carman told the ERMA committee that it was impossible to assess the millions of possible genetic transformations that could be engineered without more specific information. Questions of human, environmental and agricultural safety were unable to be considered. [2]

Genetically engineered animals will be used as bio-factories in an attempt to produce new bio-pharmaceutical proteins. The animals will eventually be discarded into an open offal pit that poses a direct threat to the surrounding ecosystem and groundwater. Any diseases that the GE animals might harbour could enter the ground or be discharged onto the land through effluent and aborted tissue.

"The outdoors conditions are dangerous to New Zealand's biosecurity as they have not evaluated any particular organism and are no stricter than any other decision, just couched in more rhetoric," said Ms. Grammer

In addition, the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification made a key recommendation in 2001 that animals in the food chain should not be used as "bio-reactors".(3)

Lessons from overseas shows it is only a matter of time before the proposed 'Russian roulette' approach to our biosecurity allows pathogens to threaten communities and the economy.

NORTHERN COUNCILS AGREE TO "LAST DITCH" EFFORT TO HAVE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FIX FLAWED GE LEGISLATION

GE FREE NORTHLAND

Press Release 1 April 2010

NORTHERN COUNCILS AGREE TO "LAST DITCH" EFFORT TO HAVE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FIX FLAWED GE LEGISLATION

 

GE FREE Northland welcomes the news that Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Far North District Council (FNDC) have voted to join the other member councils of the "Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Options" in making a last ditch effort this year to further lobby central government to amend the flaws in the HSNO Act.

The vote took place at the last full council meeting of FNDC (25 March) and the 17 March 2010 meeting of the NRC Environment Management Committee.

The NRC vote was unanimous, gaining the support not of only councillors but of a cross-section of interested parties from Northland.

"This is a timely decision. We await only Auckland Regional Councils decision on April 20 this year," said GE FREE NORTHLAND Chairman Martin Robinson.

The Court of Appeal has overturned last year’s High Court decision against AgResearch, which wants conditional release of transgenic animals in undisclosed locations in the North Island.

"It is all the more critical that local councils do everything they can to get much needed changes into the HSNO Act. This includes a truly strict liability regime," said Mr Robinson.

The Chairman of the NRC Environmental Management committee, Cr Craig Brown has voiced his concerns.

"While I’m very pleased with the NRC’s decision, I am of the opinion that if this persistent lobbying of central government continues to be unsuccessful in persuading government to take the appropriate action… that the regional council and territorial authorities of Northland need to put strong precautionary measures in their District Plans, the Regional Plan and RPS."

Visiting GE-free advocate leaves a cautionary message: protect your primary producers

 

 

 

 

http://gbweekly.co.nz/2010/3/24/visiting-ge-free-advocate-leaves-a-cautionary-message-protect-your-primary-producers

Visiting GE-free advocate leaves a cautionary message: protect your primary producers

GOLDEN BAY WEEKLY 25 March 2010

by Gerard Hindmarsh

Northland-based horticulturalist and GE-free lobbyist, Zelka Grammer, recently spent three weeks tramping her way through the backblocks of Kahurangi, coming out in Golden Bay to replenish her supplies and deliver a strong message to anyone that would listen:

Start protecting your organic and conventional primary producers by insisting TDC place a ban on land use involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

 

It’s not just hot air.

Zelka and her GE-Free Northland colleagues were instrumental in convincing nine Northland and Auckland councils to form the Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Options, whose core function is protecting the regions’ existing (and what many perceive as valuable) GM-free status.

"The next step," says a confident Zelka, will be the implementation of a Regional Exclusion Zone for GMOs. It’s akin to what Golden Bay and Waiheke Island councils did in the late 1970s, when they declared themselves ‘Nuclear Free.’ People laughed back then, but that one became arguably one of this country’s most popular policies."

Annual General Meeting

new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry, 16,000 Kiwi submittors say NO to GE trees

new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

by Zelka Linda Grammer

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) released the new Environmental Standards (NES) for Plantation Forestry in August 2017, after putting out the draft NES-PF two years ago.

The new NES-PF (1) gives foresters, councils, and communities clear national guidelines on how to protect the environment while achieving a sustainable forestry industry ((although many submitters would have preferred stronger provisions to protect indigenous trees, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems).

Severe pressure on MPI resulted in the agency removing a controversial clause 6.4 (GE trees), which was added at the eleventh hour with no consultation with the NZ Farm Forestry Association, Forest and Bird, and other key stakeholders) from the new NES-PF.

Various councils with strong precautionary GE policies, foresters, and other primary producers welcomed the removal of the clause that would have permitted the planting of GE trees anywhere in NZ and specifically overriden any precautionary or prohibitive GE policies and rules of local councils (including those of Northland, Auckland, and Hawke's Bay).

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