1 Aug 2011

Maori growers welcome possible GE restrictions

7:13 pm on 1 August 2011

Maori organic growers are welcoming moves by councils in Northland to restrict the use of genetically-modified plants or animals.

The Far North and Whangarei District Councils are among a number of northern councils considering a ban on GMOs, in their district plans.

The councils are concerned the law has no provision to hold GE users accountable, if they contaminate other crops.

Percy Tipene, who chairs the organic growers' group, says for Maori the issue is about more than liability: it's about preserving the integrity of species.

Mr Tipene says this was claimed by iwi when GMO was initiated when it went through the Royal Commission, where Maori contributed to a large extent, by objecting to any tampering with the integrity of their produce including indigenous fauna and flora.

Mr Tipene says he's not confident the councils will follow through with a GE ban, but he is pleased they've at least taken the first step.