October 31, 2018
Northland challenged to protect coast from GMOs
The Soil & Health Association is enlisting the support of Māori groups to fight the possibility of the release of genetically modified organisms into coastal waters.
Co-chair Bailey Peryman says Northland Regional Council's proposed regional plan is silent on such a release.
The association wants to take a precautionary approach, in line with the Northland Regional Policy Statement opposing GMOs.
He says GMOs in the coastal marine area could threaten the economic sustainability of a wide range of activities that benefit from having GE-free status, including oyster farmers and any growers who collect seaweed from the coast for fertiliser.
"There's not a lot of consensus in the scientific community about the safety of GMOs and in particular if they are released into the environment, the flow between these environments is all interconnected and interrelated. The organic world view is very much a holistic one and so too is te ao Māori's," Mr Peryman says.
He says if Northland Regional Council makes the recommended amendments, communities from Auckland to North Cape would be able to have their say if GMO releases are proposed.
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