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The Government must step in to provide the legislative surety that Councils need in order to manage any release of GMOs, the Green Party said today.
An inter-council working party of Northland and Auckland local authorities yesterday announced their research on the regulations for release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They identified a total lack of liability provisions under current legislation.
"Until these liability issues are fixed we need to put in place a moratorium on the release of GMOs," Green Party genetic engineering spokesperson Steffan Browning said.
"The legislation governing the release of GMOs is too weak and doesn't address the real risks that all councils will be dealing with.
"Other councils around New Zealand are also working on how to manage any release of GMOs in their communities.
"The impacts of releasing GMOs without strong liability laws in Australia has led to farmers having to sue their neighbours after crop contamination.
"This splits communities apart with neighbour suing neighbour.
"Releases of GMOs should be halted because our current legislation to manage the impact of GMOs in our fields is totally inadequate.
"The past management of GMO field trials doesn't give me confidence in the system protecting for contamination.
"We need liability laws suited to this situation, it's not okay to leave councils and communities to try and manage the risks," said Mr Browning.