Environment Minister Amy Adams will block councils from setting their own rules on genetically modified organisms.
. . . Ms Adams said in the House that she was concerned that councils were trying to go against central Government’s rules on new organisms.
“Local councils are local councils – they operate under the national framework. There has never been the ability for them to rewrite national rules that they don’t like.
“And if councils have concerns about the way GM regulation in New Zealand works, they should raise those with the [Environment Protection Agency] and attempt to address the legislation on a national basis. They should not set up their own independent states…”
She said she would amend the Resource Amendment Act to clarify who was responsible for regulating GMOs. . .
Ms Adams argued that the National-led Government had been consistent on the issue, and pointed to Crown Law advice from 2003 which said it was not a good idea for councils to regulate GMOs under their own plans.
The minister said communities could be confident that legislation provided a robust system of controls and set a high bar for the entry of GMOs into New Zealand.
The Minister is backing science against emotion, as she should.
Much of the opposition to GMOs is anti-science and anti-business.
There are strict controls on GMOs set by central government and that provides a sufficient safeguard.