GMO news related to New Zealand

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.