The Green Party is concerned with today's decision by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to allow the sale and use of food derived from an herbicide-tolerant soybean line.
"It's not right that our New Zealand food standards authority has allowed the sale of a controversial GE food product before the country in which the product will be grown has approved it," said Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.
Mr Browning was responding to the decision of FSANZ to approve a variation of Standard 1.5.2 which allows the use of food derived from herbicide-tolerant soybean line DAS-44406-6 in Australia and New Zealand before the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have approved it. The soybean designated as DAS-44406-6 has been genetically engineered for tolerance to the herbicide 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium.
"In its reasons for its decision, FSANZ wrote, 'not preparing a draft variation to the Code was considered likely to be inconsistent with Australia's and New Zealand's WTO obligations,'" said Mr Browning.
"The Government is putting free trade obligations ahead of the interests of New Zealanders.
"Australia and New Zealand appear to be the first countries to approve this soybean line in food, but New Zealanders don't want to be part of a science experiment.
"GE foods should not be in our food chain," said Mr Browning.