Govt needs to listen to New Zealanders, who don’t want GE trees

Communities are saying no to genetically engineered (GE) trees and pushing back against the National Government’s attempt to remove the right of councils from controlling the release of GE trees in their regions, the Green Party said today.

At public meetings held around the country to consult on the proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry, which will replace existing plan rules for many plantation forestry activities, attendees have voiced concerns over allowing the planting of GE trees to be a permitted activity.

“Some communities, such as Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay and Northland, have worked hard to have a say over the release of GE trees in their regions. The proposed NES would take that say away,” said  Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“The uncontrolled development and release of GE trees is a risky step in the wrong direction. Genetic contamination of forests by GE trees is inevitable and irreversible, and the technology is untested.

“Being GE free is part of our New Zealand clean, green brand, and gives us a unique competitive edge in international markets.

“We’ve put together a submission guide so that people who want to know more about the NES and about why GE trees are a bad move for our health, biodiversity, bee health and food sovereignty, can have their say,” said Mr Browning.

The submission guide can be found here http://action.greens.org.nz/forestry.

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