The Green Party is calling for the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to ban herbicide-tolerant swedes that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of dairy cows, after a report into their use told farmers to either not use them, or to be cautious about their use.
“DairyNZ’s recent report into the safety of herbicide-tolerant swedes makes several recommendations that include not using the product, which begs the question that if it’s so harmful, why is it still being sold?” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning.
“MPI is failing farmers and needs to get this product out of the market, with compensation to farmers who have lost stock or racked up vet bills trying to solve the problem.
“As MPI is responsible for animal welfare, they are clearly failing the animals that are at risk from eating this product.
“PGG Wrightson’s herbicide-tolerant swedes are created using chemical mutagenesis, a process similar in nature to genetic engineering, but not regulated by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act as GE products are.
“The DairyNZ report also failed to test or analyse fully the impact of the herbicides sprayed on to the crop to control weeds on the health of animals, although many affected dairy herds suffered reproductive problems,” said Mr Browning.