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Lifting moratorium keeps options open, Farmers say

Lifting the Moratorium on the Commercial Release of GM will keep options open for New Zealand farmers to compete in a highly subsidised international market place, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Grains Council Chairman Hugh Ritchie.

"The commercial production of GM commodity crops in New Zealand is extremely unlikely given few of the commercial GM crops currently available are beneficial to New Zealand conditions and production types. However there are some exciting value added opportunities for New Zealand in the production of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals.

"Case be case assessment under the Environmental Risk Management Authority's internationally recognised process is firmly in keeping with value added marketing opportunities.

"Since removal of subsidies all New Zealand farmers have been forced to meet consumer demands and market needs in order to survive. As a result New Zealand farmers supply very diversified markets in a wide range of countries with varying demand for conventional and organic food.

"The Greens seem to want to lock producers into a one size fits all view of the marketplace.

"Government has a history of locking producers into systems that do not adjust sufficiently to changes in the market. Lifting the Moratorium on GM will provide New Zealand farmers with exciting opportunities to respond to consumer demands without distortions in market signals within a robust science based risk management system."

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