This analysis comes from anti-GE tree activists in New Zealand organizing nationally to prevent key changes in the national forestry laws that would prevent communities from being able to stop the commercial release of GE trees.
National Environmental Standards – a National train wreck
The National Environmental Standards on plantation Forestry (NES-PF)  community meetings are a national train wreck.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), who are holding the meetings, portrayed the NES -PF changes as “good practice across the board” that will give “large scale corporate foresters and communities indirect benefits about environmental outcomes”.
In fact the proposed standards will increase costs to communities and businesses and place an extraordinary burden on the already over stretched Councils and add a confusing and ambiguous understanding to existing legislation.
When questioned on “Why there had been no consultation over the addition of genetically engineered (GE) trees?” The MPI officials replied that Scion, a Corporatised Crown Research (CRI) entity,  had substantial influence on the insertion of the GE clauses. If these clauses are adopted it will force Councils to remove any reference to stringent precautionary wording and force them to change their policies around GE trees from their plans.
This standard overrides the way the environmental principles of the Resource Management Act and Environmental Court decisions have been legislated and circumnavigates the Government’s inability to change the RMA.
This development is highly concerning and borders on the illegal as it removes the requirement for government to make laws and derogates it regulators and corporate CRI’s. This directly contravenes the CRI’s ethical and social responsibility to communities under the Act.
“This forced change to legislation through substantial the CRI influence is illegal and shows that Scion are actually writing the law of the land” said Mrs. Bleakley “
“The proposed NES – PF will force already over stressed and under resourced Councils and ratepayers into unsound and dangerous environmental policy implementation, because Scion wants to prohibit the Councils placing more stringent GE precautions in their plans” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.
“As the Trans Pacific Partner ship agreement comes closer to signing, NZ will see more and more of its laws being standardised with the US legislation shutting out sovereign democratic processes”.
More information and submission to the NES-PF close on August 11 at 5.30pm