Previously known as Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics PSRGNZ - Charitable Trust
As required under the new 2005 Charities Act, PSGR has reregistered as a charitable trust.

2014 Federated Farmers 10 June

10 June 2014

 

The Members and Management of Federated Farmers

PO Box 715                                                                             

WELLINGTON 6140                                                                 

 

cc Rural Women, NZ Young Farmers,

     All MPs and other relevant recipients

 

Developments with genetically engineered organisms

Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility is a Charitable Trust established to provide independent scientific assessment and advice on matters relating to genetic engineering and other scientific and medical matters.  Following recent reports of interest in allowing genetically engineered crops to be grown in New Zealand, we forward information on developments.

It is essential that members of Federated Farmers be fully aware of the scientific and health issues relating to genetically engineered organisms, especially in the light of recent media publicity coming from proponents of the technology.  We believe the release of this technology into the New Zealand environment represents a threat to the wellbeing and livelihoods of Federated Farmers’ members, to New Zealand consumers and exporters, and to the integrity of our production system and environment.[1]

The following information includes scientific evidence and shows the experience of farmers in the US and Canada where a major percentage of genetically engineered crops are grown.  This is particularly pertinent in that, internationally, authorities are introducing bans on transgenic crops for reasons of environmental and human health safety and export branding.  Key markets want foods free of novel DNA, requirements driven by the demands of well-informed and discerning consumers from China, Japan, Europe, the US and elsewhere. 

The global market for foods and beverages produced without the use of any transgenic ingredients has led many leading international food companies such as Unilever, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola to introduce or be developing non-GE versions of their products to meet the demands of consumers who do not want transgenes in their food.[2]  Global sales of non-GE food and beverage products are predicted to double to US$800 billion by 2017.[3]

US farmers growing transgenic crops say they faced a future of lower corn prices and higher inputs.  The trend is to abandon transgenic seed because non-GE crops are more productive and profitable.  It is essential Federated Farmers’ members be aware of these facts when considering their future decisions.[4]

Are genetically engineered organisms safe for release?

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2013 Federated Farmers reply to our letter of 5 March 2013 on 7 March 2013

FEDERATED FARMERS OF NEW ZEALAND

WELLINGTON

gen-i House

Level 6, 154 Featherston Street

PO Box 715,

Wellington 6140 New Zealand

T +64 4 473 7269

F +64 4 473 1081

 

7 March 2013

 

Thank you for your letter regarding technology developments. Federated Farmers is always keen to stay up to date with the latest scientific developments which may affect agriculture and we appreciate the time you have taken to state your point of view.

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2013 Federated Farmers

5 March 2013

 

The Chairman, Board Members,

Members and Management Staff of Federated Farmers

PO Box 715                                                                                  

WELLINGTON 6140                           

 

cc Rural Women, Young Farmers, NZ Forest Owners Assoc., Tree Crops Assoc., and other relevant organisations

 

Developments in technologies, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the welfare of New Zealand and its people

Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility is a Charitable Trust established to provide independent scientific assessment and advice on matters relating to genetic engineering, nanotechnology, synthetic biology and other scientific matters.

Potential gains from any new technology must be weighed against the facts.  Increasingly, science is being privatised and can no longer be relied on to serve the public interest.  Patents on products and technologies are growing rapidly.  Research funding is being channelled into new technologies to the disadvantage of other scientific issues in need of research for the public good.  Vested interest is too often allowed to override issues of safety.  Frequently, regulation and public consultation and interest are not pursued.

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