TV3’s story on cows grazing on landfill was an example of emotion trumping facts and it provided an excuse for the Green Party to seek more publicity.
Fortunately Federated Farmers has the facts to counter their political opportunism:
Federated Farmers Taranaki is concerned the Green Party’s scaremongering over rehabilitated landfarms is putting at risk New Zealand’s number one merchandise export.
“Politicians and political parties have a higher duty when it comes to what they say or do,” says Harvey Leach, Federated Farmers Taranaki provincial president.
“The Green Party media release I saw is like going into a packed theatre and yelling fire. I think we are hitting new lows in politics when the sum total of a political party’s research effort is a television news segment.
“Unlike that party, Federated Farmers has asked questions and knows there is a double testing regime in place for rock cuttings and clays.
“Taranaki Regional Council is incredibly rigorous in what it does. The Council tests ground conditions to ensure things are as they should be. Fonterra further tests for contaminants when it collects milk to ensure integrity of the entire milk supply chain.
“The science is clear; there is no issue here. Of course you don’t want the truth to get in the way of a bad story.
“Politicians misrepresenting the truth is low-ball stuff. They are calling into question the integrity of a major regional council which is the most experienced we have in dealing with oil and gas.
“It also puts at risk our $12 billion dairy export industry by questioning the integrity of our major dairy exporters. We are being ankle-tapped by politicians who get paid by our hard work and that of other hard working kiwis. We deserve much better.
“Farmers will be predictably disappointed in the Green Party because they seem willing to throw decent hard working people under a bus to get a cheap headline. It is nasty politics spun at its worst,” Mr Leach concluded.
New Zealand has a well deserved reputation for food safety and animal health and welfare.
It could very easily be sabotaged by people and parties will to put political opportunism ahead of the facts in this manner.