Press releases






16 March 2011


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.

Inquiry into AgResearch GE experiments needed

Inquiry into AgResearch GE experiments needed


 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.


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

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



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.



31 October 2017 Media Release

GE-Free Northland


Valuable precautionary GMO provisions in the Northland Regional Policy Statement and our democratic right to be GE-free have been secured, with Federated Farmers of NZ finally withdrawing two vexatious appeals on the GE/GMO issue and the jurisdictional issue settled in our favour.

GE-Free Northland, along with appellant Whangarei District Council and other interested parties (including Tai Tokerau mana whenua and the Soil & Health Association) have successfully defended the right of local authorities to manage  the outdoor use of GMOs in their region, after Federated Farmers sought a ruling back in 2015 that Northland Regional Council had acted outside the law in taking this approach.

Since comprehensively losing the 2015 Environment Court appeal (which it initiated) on all points of law, Federated Farmers not only filed an appeal against the Environment Court's decision with the High Court, but also (after losing both court cases) went on to the Court of Appeal.

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.

Keep Northland Pine Forests GE-Free

Keep Northland Pine Forests


Public Meeting this Friday

Opportunity to support Far North District Council proposed GMO Plan change

IMPORTANT GE Free Northland Action alert :)
On Thursday, 26 June, Far North District Council is meeting in Kaitaia to vote on the FNDC proposed District Plan change regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

This collaborative GMO plan change (with Whangarei District Council and Auckland Council) will create a zone from South Auckland right up to Cape Reinga where risky GMO releases are banned.  The GMO Plan change will also require any Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved outdoor GE experiments/field trials to be classed a Discretionary activity, subject to  additional local requirements in their local plans, in order to protect existing GM free conventional, IPM and organic farmers, local biosecurity, unique biodiversity and the environment in general.
 Far North Mayor John Carter and councillors supporting the FNDC proposed GMO collaborative plan change  well before the 26th of June, and Far North residents/ ratepayers to ring their Mayor and councillors asking them to vote for the Proposed GMO Plan change. 

Also, if they can, for Far North residents to please attend the 26 June FNDC full council meeting (GE agenda item) at Kaitaia's Te Ahu Centre supporting the proposed GMO Plan change.
Please Contact the FNDC Mayor and councillors before Thursday 26 June, shiowing your support for this excellent initiative
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