GE-FREE NZ (in food and environment)
HAVE YOUR SAY: new application to ERMA: Field trials of GE broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale WRITE TO ERMA:
Oppose application GMF06001 DEADLINE: 12 December 2006
Have Your Say On Field Trials
Crop & Food Research in the South Island have applied to ERMA (the Environmental Risk Management Authority) to spend
taxpayers' money on a 10-year field-trial of Genetically Engineered brassicas. The plants will have genes spliced from
bacteria and viruses, including 'Bt' (Bacillus thuringiensis) which can kill some insects. You can see the application
to field-trial these Bt crops at www.ermanz.govt.nz
If successful the trial will lead to GE plants that. . contaminate conventional crops, soil and honey . destroy
people's right to grow and buy GE-free food . cause insects to develop resistance and become even more of a problem
Some points you can make:
1) The GE crops being developed could never be used commercially without causing widespread GE contamination of other
crops and honey. This is unacceptable to the community
2) Contamination will destroy people's right to buy GE-free food and threatens our economy because of loss of exports to
3) The community will not benefit from development of Bt crops resistant to some insects as they can only be effective
short-term and are not sustainable. As insects become resistant they will be even more of a problem for farmers
4) Communities face paying higher Council rates because of costs for clean-up, compensation and dealing with insect
pests that have become resistant
5) Public money should not be wasted on GE products which the majority of New Zealanders (67% in recent surveys) do not
want. The funds should be used for other research
6) The trial undermines public confidence in the direction and regulation of gene science. The community expects
research to be sustainable, and to respect our shared values
7) ERMA should not approve GE plants containing antibiotic-resistant marker genes which can add to existing problems in
controlling disease. Other evidence of health impacts from Bt crops on people and animals must also be properly studied
before the application is even considered
Fax: 04 914 0433.
Post: ERMA NZ, PO Box 131, Wellington, 6140
Include: Your name, address, telephone/ fax, Why you oppose field trial GMF06001. Also say if you want to be invited to
speak at a hearing For more information: www.gefree.org.nz www.GiantExperiment.co.nz www.GEinfo.org.nz
Problems with this GE crop trial :
Early resistance by pests (which has already occurred overseas) - Fast spread of GE brassicas and interbreeding
-Contamination of GE free crops (conventional, pesticide-reduced ( IPM) and organic) - Loss of markets through
contamination of honey, crops and NZ's clean green image -Human and animal health risks
Organic and conventional producers can use natural Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and careful use has maintained its
benefit without pest resistance. Organic and GMO free producers' markets demand products free of GMO contamination.
Current Bt use poses little risk to humans or stock as the toxin only reaches the pest caterpillar's gut.
The use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in genetically engineered crops elsewhere has shown an early build-up of
resistance in pest insects, resulting in the loss of a safe and important tool for many farmers. GMO Bt poses risks as
the toxin is in every cell of the GM crop, including that eaten by consumers, and also the pollen and roots.
Brassica pollen travels large distances, and brassicas cross easily with dozens of wild and cultivated cousins. GMO
brassicas are a risky proposition and central government (despite efforts by local authorities and Local Government NZ
to persuade them to do so) has failed to provide a strict liability regime to ensure that those that wish to experiment
with GMOs will be held financially accountable for any "unintended" or unforseen adverse impacts on other farmers,
consumers or the environment.
More info: www.gefree.org.nz www.GiantExperiment.co.nz
Notification of Application Receipt
Application code: GMF06001 Application category: Field Test in Containment any Genetically Modified Organism under the
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 Applicant: New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Limited Applicant contact: Mary Christey Purpose: To assess agronomic performance, in the Lincoln region,
over 10 years of vegetable and forage brassicas, specifically cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, modified for
resistance to caterpillar pests like cabbage white butterfly and diamond-back moth Date application received: 30 October
2006 Submission period: 31 October 2006 - 12 December 2006 ERMA New Zealand contact: Jenny Khoo
ERMA New Zealand has received the above application for approval to Field Test in Containment any New Organism in which
you may have an interest. ERMA New Zealand considers that the application contains adequate information to proceed with
Please find enclosed the application summary. The full application can be viewed at ERMA New Zealand's website
http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/consultations/consult-apps.cfm or a copy can be obtained from our office by request.
The date of public notification is 31 October 2006. The public submission period closes on 12 December 2006, 30 working
days after public notification.
The brochure from our Quick Guide series on Making a Submission can be downloaded from our website
(http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/consultations/index.asp) or we will send a copy on request. Submissions may be made in
writing or by email (email@example.com) or by using our on-line submission form, which can be downloaded from
our web-site (http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/consultations/consult-apps.cfm).
Submissions must include the following information:
The name of the organisation represented, a contact person, and contact details (ie postal address, telephone number,
facsimile number and email address (if applicable)). Written submissions must be signed and dated. However, submissions
received by email or via our on-line submission form will be accepted without signature. Details of the application for
which you are making the submission (including application code). Your submission, with reasons. What decision you seek
(optional). Whether or not you wish to be heard (ie at a public hearing) in support of your submission. Please note that
submitters must meet their own costs (including travel) of attending a public hearing. The date and location of any
hearing will not be finalised until after the submission period closes. ERMA New Zealand must give submitters 10 working
days notice of the hearing date and location.
Your submission should include all of the points that you wish to make, and include any supporting reasons and
information. If there is to be a public hearing on the application, the time available for each submitter to speak to
their submission may be limited. Submitters are expected to summarise and highlight key parts of their submission at the
hearing and to answer any questions arising. Submitters should not expect to substantially augment their submissions
with additional information at the hearing, unless it has been circulated to ERMA New Zealand and other attending
parties at least 5 days beforehand.
All submissions will be considered by the Authority, regardless of whether or not you present your submission at a