GMO news related to New Zealand

01.09.2016 |

New Zealand: Federated Farmers lose GMO court battle again

Campaigners against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are hailing a High Court ruling allowing regional councils to decide whether GMOs can be banned in their areas.

15.02.2016 |

New Zealand: Battle to keep GMO free heats up

A group of local farming stalwarts is throwing its weight behind Hastings District Council as it prepares to fight for the district to stay GMO free.

18.09.2015 |

New Zealand: Hastings District Becomes First Official GMO Free Region

Hastings District Council has secured a major economic opportunity for local food producers by making the district the first official GMO Free food producing zone in New Zealand.

15.09.2015 |

Hastings District goes GMO-FREE

The food industry in Hawke's Bay was ready to party last night after confirmation the Hastings District Council has become the first local body in New Zealand to block genetically modified food production.

Industry leader John Bostock showed all the enthusiasm of a province winning the Ranfurly Shield when he said last night: "We are so excited. It's a wonderful thing."

The ban comes in new Hastings District Plan rules, prohibiting release and field trials of GM crops and animals in the council area. Mr Bostock says food producers in the area can now brand their products as grown in a GM-free food producing area.

He and others who formed the campaign lobby Pure Hawke's Bay have been fighting for at least 15 years "because it will bring huge benefits to Hawke's Bay".

Food production is being driven more and more by the "clean, green and pure" image, he said.

04.08.2015 |

Regions should have the right to stay GMO-free

Protest over plans to end regions right to be GMO free

Hawke's Bay premium food producers have accused the government of a "back door" move to strip regions of the power to stay free of genetically modified organisms.

New Zealand's pure image boosts produce growing exporters to earn a premium in global markets for their fruit, veges, wine and food.

But some believe this is now threatened by a draft regulation which would end councils' right to ban GMO trees from their patch.

The proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry, drafted by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), means that once the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) had approved a genetically-modified tree-type for planting, no council could prevent it from being planted in their areas.

In its submission, Pure Hawke's Bay, a lobby group of produce, wine and food exporters, said staying GMO-free was key to preserving and developing the region's brand as a premium, natural food-producing region.

"Key markets remain sensitive even to the risk of contamination with trace levels of GM content," it warned.

23.07.2015 |

New Zealand: Concern over environmental standard for tree plantations

Anti genetic engineering lobbyists are concerned about a proposed new national environmental standard for plantations which is going through its third round of consultation.

21.07.2015 |

New Zealand: TPPA threatens GE-free status

As an organic producer I can see what the Investor State Clause will involve. It will be corporations pushing for more GMOs and New Zealand will not be protected. We know that GMOs are disastrous for human health.

20.07.2015 |

New Zealand: 'Stealth' claim over plan to thwart GMO stance

The Government is being accused of "legislation by stealth" following the release of a policy that would see teeth knocked out of local protection against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Northland councils are engaged in a court battle to shield their districts from the risks of GMOs.

But the proposed National Environment Standard on Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) would loosen restrictions on genetically modified pine trees and force councils to remove wording around GMO trees from their policies and plan changes.

Whangarei District Council, Far North District Council and Northland Regional Council are among those that have moved to use the Resource Management Act to put restrictions on the release of GMOs, further to those provided under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.

The NES-PF would see councils lose the right to use their Resource Management Act powers to restrict the planting of GE trees.

16.06.2015 |

Māori: Iwi fight to stay GMO free

Iwi in Tai Tokerau are fighting to keep their rohe free of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Tai Tokerau and environmental groups supported Whangarei District Council in successfully defending the right of local authorities to manage the use of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Federated Farmers took a test case to the Environment Court arguing Northland Regional Council had acted outside the law in taking that view managing their use. The farming lobby group lost and is now appealing that decision in the High Court.

Representative for Ngāti Hau, Benjamin Pittman, said they were "standing up for what they believe", because tikanga Māori held strict divisions between human and non-human things, and those to do with the body and food.

24.10.2014 |

New Zealand: Anti-GE group supports call for review

The national farming lobby group's call for a rethink on genetic engineering in New Zealand has been echoed by an unlikely ally - but with the opposite outcome in mind.