The Environment Court’s decision to allow regional councils to have a say in the use of genetically modified organisms gives communities an extra level of protection from GE crops entering their regions, the Green Party said today.
The Court decided yesterday in favour of Northland Regional Council that councils are able to make provisions for the control of GMOs through their regional policy statements and plans.
“Communities such as Hawke’s Bay and Northland are recognising the benefits of remaining GE-free in their regions and that’s been backed up by this Environment Court decision,” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning.
“The decision means that should the Environmental Protection Authority allow GE crops into the country, communities can decide for themselves whether to allow them into their regions.
“Yesterday’s decision builds on a previous Environment Court decision that Environment Bay of Plenty could take a precautionary stance in their plans over GE materials.
“Government’s past statements that they would remove councils’ ability to locally control GE and GMO material should now be reconsidered.”