Our Health Our Choice, Say No to GE
Who is responsible for problems arising from GE
GE CORN Now In New Zealand
A Sad day for New Zealand
The Environmental Risk Management Authority’s (ERMA) decision to allow field
testing of genetically engineered brassica crops risks sending good money
after bad, with no chance that the New Zealand public will ever agree to eat
this plant or have it grown commercially here.
“This decision will allow for pest resistant forage kale, cabbages,
cauliflower, and broccoli containing a caterpillar killing pesticide to be
taken out of the laboratory into a field.
“Brassica is a particularly problematic crop. Brassica pollen travels large
distances, the seeds are small and brassicas cross easily, with hundreds of
variants in existence.
“Rather than reducing the need for pesticides, the use of Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt) in genetically engineered crops is likely to produce
long-term resistance in insects, which means more toxic sprays will be needed
to control pests,” Ms Fitzsimons says.
"We must be cautious about promises of containment and monitoring, and that
the trial will not be allowed to flower.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry raised some very serious concerns
following the last round of brassica field trials. They highlighted failures
to meet several conditions surrounding monitoring, non-cultivation of trial
sites and buffer zones. Other evidence shows that canola plants were allowed
to flower to enable seed production, and at the end of the field tests, the
plant material was disposed of by ploughing into the ground. These seeds can
lay dormant in soil for up to 15 years.
“ERMA received 959 submissions on this application – of which 941 were opposed
to the trials. What part of "No" don't they understand?
“Risks include the transfer of the changed genes to wild plants. For example,
plants engineered to be resistant to pesticides may transfer their resistance
to weeds. It has already been proven that this can happen, and that new
resistant weeds can survive in the wild. And almost all GE plants use
antibiotic resistant genes – another area of grave concern in agriculture and
“The announcement of 10 years worth of funding for a trial with no safety
testing when even the project leader has admitted there can be no guarantees
of containing the trial to the site is tantamount to a publicly funded hand
out for scientific folly.
"The way forward for New Zealand is organics and integrated pest management,
building on our clean, green image."
For more information contact:
Keiller MacDuff, Green Party Media Officer, 04 470 6723
Read more on the dangers of GE
The Safety of GM corn is in doubt after Monsanto's deception. However the New
Zealand Government has approved (rubber stamped) GE corn for human and animal
consumption, learn more.
Although genetically modified foods are not suited or safe for human or animal
consumption, they are on the increase and The New Zealand Green Party is
currently calling on
FSANZ to halt
an application by Monsanto for approval for a genetically modified corn
(MON89034, an insect resistant GM corn) to be used in foods for human
consumption after it was revealed the company had earlier concealed test
results showing a similar GE corn product caused illness in rats.
Monsanto's application comes a week after Monsanto was shown to have concealed
raw data from tests of another insect resistant, corn MON863, when it sought
approval to import it into the European Union. Monsanto was forced by a German
court to reveal raw data it had concealed.
An independent scientific evaluation of the raw data of a 13-week rat feed
study that Monsanto submitted to the European authorities shows that the
company mis-analysed the test’s results and used highly questionable
statistical procedures. The independent analysis showed the rats’ kidney and
liver function was disturbed and their growth was slowed.
From this it is clear that Monsanto made a deliberate misrepresentation as to
the safety of its product and as a company, it has little credibility and
cannot be trusted.
FSANZ accepted the misleading Monsanto interpretation of the rat feeding study
without asking for the actual results. It approved MON863 for animal feed and
human consumption in New Zealand in October 2003, so if you are eating any
food product containing corn, you need to question the origin of the corn.
This is difficult due to the deficiency of our food
labeling laws. NZ Health recommends avoiding all processed foods that may
The NZ Greens Genetic Engineering Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons says, “It
is completely inappropriate for FSANZ to be considering any new applications
from Monsanto when the validity of their research has been thrown into
question by their deception. How can we trust they are not hiding damaging
test results again this time? I am reluctant to believe they won’t try to
conceal damaging information again.”
The Green Party has called on FSANZ to immediately withdraw all approvals of
Monsanto GM corn and urgently reassess them, including independent reviews of
all test data and challenged the decision at the time demanding that FSANZ
obtain the original test data. It eventually did, but did not subject it to
FSANZ is a government body with a mandate to protect the population from such
dangerous products, clearly it must do its job and stop accepting company
propaganda in the place of scientific evidence. It must also demand to see the
test data and properly investigate all applications. We doubt whether it has
done so in the case of this latest application for MON89034.
You are what you eat
For more information Contact
Jeanette Fitzsimons, Co-Leader, 04 470 6661
Fran Tyler, Media Coordinator, 04 470 6679
Click here for background info
GE onus belongs with polluters, central Government
The recent disclosure by the Environment Minister to a group of Northland and
Auckland councils that central Government takes no responsibility for GE crops
that go wrong confirms the Green Party (and our) position that no release of GE
organisms should be allowed, the Greens’ Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
“There is no demand for GE food from markets - in fact the demand is all the
other way. Why would we allow a rogue, unwanted food crop to contaminate a
premium crop with high market demand, and then let the polluter off with no
responsibility ?” Ms Fitzsimons says.
“Growers of GE free and organic products that attract a premium have a right to
be able to pursue their business without being contaminated by new, unwanted
“The Government has confirmed that if the Environmental Risk Management
Authority approves the release of a GE organism ( which could be a vegetable, a
grain, an animal or a micro-organism ) and it contaminates the land or products
of growers whose markets demand it be GE free, the owner of the GE organism is
off the hook as far as paying compensation, or the costs of a clean-up -
assuming they haven't broken any laws.
“What this means is that if a central Government agency such as ERMA gets its
risk analysis wrong, and approves a release which goes on to damage other
growers, the Government will take no responsibility. The victims and their local
community will have to bear the costs, as best they can.
"What is at stake is New Zealand’s market access for food that can still be
guaranteed to be GE free, as consumers in Europe and Japan want. That alone is
reason enough to exclude GE organisms from New Zealand.
"However, this Government has legislated to allow release, although no-one yet
has applied to do it. They cannot now stand back and say ‘it won’t be our
problem’ should something go wrong.
"We can only assume this cavalier attitude to New Zealand growers is driven by
the wish for a free trade agreement with the US, the source of most GE products,
which demands that nothing be put in the way of their profits from this
technology. It is a very, very bad bargain for New Zealand.
“Local councils are justified in setting up their own bans on GE releases until
strict liability is legislated - so that any owner of a GE organism that causes
harm is required to stump up for the full costs involved.
“This matter should not be to left to the Auckland and Northern councils to sort
out. Local Government New Zealand should be making its feelings clear to central
Government that it cannot offload the major financial liability for its GE
decisions onto local growers and ratepayers.” Ms Fitzsimons says.
For more information:
Gordon Campbell Media Officer, 04 470 6719
Poisons In Our Foods -
How to avoid eating GE Corn
Say No To Aussie Rules
The Therapeutic Products & Medicines Bill being was considered by
the New Zealand parliament to regulate ALL therapeutic products and
nutritional supplements as drugs and to
regulate them as medicines and medical devices under the management of an Australian run
corporation ANZTPA - an amalgamation of the TGA & MedSafe.
This move by the government has been set aside due to public opposition but may
Green Party Opposition Statement by Sue Kedgley
NZ government viewpoint
The Australian Views
Trans Tasman Agency