This week, GE Free NZ Stop GE Trees is asking New Zealanders to send a letter to a National MP asking them to ensure that GE trees are removed from the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry. The National Party caucus is set to vote on the recommendations in the near future, not the whole parliament. Below is a template letter for you to use and add any of your own wording. Click here to find the email address of a National MP.
Protect the right of Regions to choose to say NO to GE-Trees
Dear National Member of Parliament,
I am writing to you regarding the National Environment Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). Ministry for Primary Industries received 16,000 + submissions, of these 15,500 sought the removal of clause 6.4 on the planting of GE trees and GE rootstock.
The clause, if enacted, removes the democratic process around community protections for the environment through the RMA and would make the planting of GE Trees a permitted activity if approved by the EPA. This means that it would override any Council precautionary GE provisions placed in their plans.
The dangers of genetically modified trees on New Zealand’s ecosystems, including essential soil organisms, plants, birds and insects could be both widespread, permanent and economically damaging. These effects could be detrimental to biodiversity and trophic systems, undermining what the RMA is designed to protect.
I understand that the Hon. Nick Smith will be signing off the NES-PF in the near future, after discussion with his caucus colleagues. I urge you to ensure that in light of the high number of submissions received by MPI the clause regarding GE trees (6.4) is removed.
The decision we would like the Minister to make
1. Remove clause 6.4 from the draft NES-PF
2. Remove all wording referring to genetically modified trees and rootstock from the draft NES-PF in Appendix 3; Afforestation & Replanting,