Soil & Health Association

A win for clean, green, GE-FREE New Zealand

A win for clean, green, GE-free New Zealand


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
31 October 2017
 
The Soil & Health Association is celebrating the decision by Federated Farmers to abandon its appeal against the right of councils to control the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their territories. Federated Farmers filed its latest appeal earlier this year in the Court of Appeal, after its appeals to the Environment Court and High Court had been dismissed.
 
“We congratulate Federated Farmers on this pragmatic and sensible decision,” said Soil & Health Chair Graham Clarke.
 
“Both the High Court and Environment Court have ruled that regional councils have jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act (RMA) to regulate the use of GMOs through regional policy statements or plans. The recent RMA amendments further entrench the legal rights of councils to do so. Challenging these decisions would only have cost both us, the other parties involved and Federated Farmers themselves a lot of unnecessary time and money.”
 
Federated Farmers had argued that the Environmental Protection Authority had sole responsibility for the regulation of GMOs under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO).
 
The decision to withdraw its appeal comes after recent amendments were made to the RMA, which confirmed the High Court ruling, leading Federated Farmers to believe that they “are likely to have materially reduced the prospects of the appeal being prosecuted successfully.”
 

Maori Party says no way to Nick Smith’s power grab

https://organicnz.org.nz/media-releases/maori-party-says-no-way-to-nick-smiths-power-grab/

 

Maori Party says no way to Nick Smith’s power grab

Maori Party says no way to Nick Smith's power grab

Maori Party says no way to Nick Smith's power grab

Monday, December 19, 2016 Media Release

The Soil & Health Association congratulates the Maori Party for standing up for New Zealanders who want to live in a GE-Free community and saying no to Nick Smith’s attempt to ride roughshod over local democracy.
“Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox has told the Environment Minister they will not support his attempts to regulate genetically modified crops nationally through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” says Soil & Health Association spokesperson Karen Summerhays.


“This spells the end for Nick Smith’s attempts to control what is grown in New Zealander’s neighbourhoods and available at their local markets.
“Local Authorities won the right to regulate the planting of genetically modified crops in their territories after years of legal battles over whether they could introduce GMO-Free zones through district plan rules.

High Court ruling on GE a win for democracy

High Court ruling on GE a win for democracy

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The High Court has today upheld the ruling that regional councils do have the right to decide on the provisions, policies, and rules regarding the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their region. 

 

The Soil & Health Association (Soil & Health) celebrates this landmark decision as a win not only in the fight against genetic engineering (GE) and keeping a clean green Aotearoa, but also for democracy as it allows community values and concerns about GMOs to be taken into account when drafting regional policy instruments.  

 

Judge Mary Peters ruled in favour of the Whangarei District Council (WDC), Northland Regional Council (NRC), Soil & Health, GE Free Northland and others, dismissing the appeal on all questions raised by the appellants Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Federated Farmers).

 

GE: it’s our right to decide

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE from GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association Aotearoa NZ
For immediate release 12 February 2016

Communities should have the right to decide whether or not genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are released or field-trialled in their regions and, if so, whether any conditions should be placed on them, say the Soil & Health Association and GE Free Northland.

The two organisations again joined forces with Taitokerau mana whenua and others in court this week, responding to another case on the GMO issue brought by Federated Farmers, this time to the High Court in Whangarei. The judge’s decision is expected within a month.

New wave of GE free activism

New wave of GE-free activism

New wave of GE-free activism

17 June 2015


Pressure from the biotech industry for the government to relax laws on genetic engineering will result in a new wave of GE-free activism, the Soil & Health Association predicts.

This follows comments from some GE companies, and from the Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf in a speech at Fieldays that New Zealand is missing out on opportunities.

Can we keep local control over GE?


Can we keep local control over GE?

www.organicnz.org.nz/node/1017

Can we keep local control over GE?

 

Genetic engineering is again in the spotlight as the Soil & Health Association of NZ and GE Free Northland lead a group of interested parties in support of Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council in the Environment Court this Friday.

Federated Farmers of NZ lodged an appeal with the Environment Court, opposing precautionary provisions for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the Proposed Northland Regional Policy Statement.

Court decision empowers local body protection against GMO risks

www.organicnz.org.nz/node/819

 

Food regulator ignores health risks of GE potatoes

Food regulator ignores health risks of GE potatoes

Soil & Health Association 4 October 2017
Media release    

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and hot chips made from GE potatoes, with little idea of the added health risks from genetic engineering. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has just approved six new lines of GE potatoes for human consumption, has breached its duty of care to consumers, says the Soil & Health Association.

Last week the Trans-Tasman food regulator released its decision approving the sale of food derived from potatoes that have been genetically engineered for disease resistance to foliar late blight, reduced blackspot bruising and reduced acrylamide potential. The potatoes are aimed at fast food outlets and the frozen chip and crisps market.

“FSANZ has a legal requirement to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply,” says Soil & Health chair Graham Clarke. “By approving these potato lines without sufficient evidence to prove that they are safe to eat, FSANZ has effectively breached this legal requirement.”

“Soil & Health is further concerned that due to New Zealand’s weak food labelling laws, consumers may not even know whether they’re consuming the GE potatoes or not,” says Clarke.

Soil & Health made a joint submission with GE Free NZ on the application, and referenced a number of studies that show harm from eating GE foods, which FSANZ has dismissed and ignored. The submission highlighted how no independent food safety experiments had been carried out on the GE potato lines.

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