GMO news related to New Zealand

24.09.2007 |

ERMA (New Zealand) to face legal challenge over GE trials

A hearing date for a legal challenge against ERMA’s approval of field trials of GE brassica has been set for March 31st 2008. GE Free New Zealand (in food and environment) has challenged ERMA over their approval of an application by Crop and Food Research to field test a range of brassic crops over a ten year period. In recent weeks the challenge has gained widening support with Organic Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ), BioGro NZ, and the Biodynamic Association also filing in support of the appeal.

12.09.2007 |

Candidates state position on Far North (New Zealand) issues

Where do those seeking election to the Far North District Council stand on key issues? The Northern News asked Western Ward candidates to respond to the following questions:

- Do you support regulation of genetically modified organisms - GMOs - under the District Plan?

12.09.2007 |

New Zealand approves GE onion-seed trial

The Government has given Crop and Food Research’s controversial field trial of genetically engineered (GE) onion plants at Lincoln a clean bill of health. Approval from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) follows concerns raised by GE Free New Zealand that unapproved genetically transformed onion seedlings from the United States may be growing at the site, having sneaked through in a batch of imported seeds.

22.08.2007 |

New Zealand‘s politicians pass GE buck on to communities

Northland mayors will grapple with the thorny issue of genetic engineering next week following news that communities will be liable for clean-up costs if GE crops contaminate the environment. Former Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said in a letter to the Whangarei District Council last month that persons affected by GE ’pollution’, not the ’polluter?, will pay for damages if genetically engineered crops contaminate natural crops or the environment. Far North Mayor Yvonne Sharp says news that landowners and local authorities will be liable for costs is a concern.

21.08.2007 |

Trans-Tasman rift emerges over GE corn

A split has emerged between New Zealand and Australia over the approval of a type of genetically-engineered (GE) corn. The New Zealand Food Safety Minister has overridden the joint food authority’s approval of the corn for human consumption. New Zealand has deferred the approval of Monsanto’s high lysine genetically-engineered corn under its Food Safety guidelines.

26.07.2007 |

News Zealand‘s local government and local landowners have to bear GE contamination costs

Central Government has recently confirmed that responsibility and costs fall onto local government and local land owners if genetically engineered crops contaminate natural crops or the environment and have to be cleaned up. A letter from the Minister for the Environment indicates that when or if contamination occurs it will be the person affected by the ”pollution” not the ”polluter” who will pay. These concerns have been raised by a group of councils worried about their vulnerability on behalf of ratepayers generally, as a result of the way Hazardous Substances and New Oganisms (HSNO) Act has been written.

19.07.2007 |

New Zealand‘s government urged to reject ‘dangerous‘ GM corn

Two leading scientists are calling for the Government to reject a new kind of genetically modified corn which they say could be linked to a variety of diseases. Professor Garth Cooper of Auckland University and Associate Professor Jack Heinemann of Canterbury University want tougher testing of the corn, LY038, made by international seed company Monsanto. The corn is designed to be a more nutritious feed for animals, but because of the risk of its accidentally entering the human food chain - which officials say is slight - it needs approval as a human food before it can be used.

19.07.2007 |

New Zealand‘s GE authority confirms scant benefits from GM brassica trial

ERMA’s summary of its decision to approve the field trialling of GM brassica crops makes clear just how few benefits are expected to result from the exercise. ERMA confirms in this written decision that the only benefits that can be expected are a ”minimal” contribution to scientific knowledge and ”minimal at most” upgrading of the skills of individual scientists. ERMA’s advisors had classified these benefits into categories with a total maximum value of around $500,000 and made clear that their risk-weighted value would be a fraction of this. Such prospective benefits compare very poorly with the undisclosed budget for the ten-year trial that will likely cost several million dollars, based on similar past studies.

19.07.2007 |

Biosecurity officers seize 300 GM fish in Christchurch (New Zealand)

Biosecurity New Zealand is urging tropical fish collectors and breeders to help trace genetically modified fish that have been imported illegally. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) officers seized and destroyed 300 tropical fish in raids on two Christchurch pet shops and two private premises in Christchurch yesterday.

27.06.2007 |

Group in legal bid to stop GE field trial in New Zealand

Environmental group GE Free New Zealand is taking legal action to stop a Crop and Food field trial. A challenge against an Environment Risk Management Authority (Erma) decision allowing a field trial of genetically engineered crops was launched at the High Court in Wellington last night.