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Hodgson Misleads Over Flatulence Research

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckkoff today accused Climate Control Convenor Pete Hodgson of deliberately misleading rural New Zealand over the benefits of farmers funding methane gas emissions research through the proposed "Flatulence Tax'.

"Mr Hodgson's credibility has been shot to pieces. What he has failed to tell farmers is that, under Article 2 of the Kyoto Protocol, any benefits derived from this research must be made avaliable to the livestock industry worldwide. This is just another example of Labour misleading the public with half-truths," Mr Eckhoff said

"Despite the pleas of farming leaders not to sign, Labour went ahead and ratifyed the Kyoto Protocol with zeal. In the process, it signed away farmers' intellectual property rights. As a consequence, rural New Zealand will, through the Government's ridiculous `Flatulence Tax,' be paying for research that will benefit every other country - regardless of whether they are a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol or not. Where is the competitive advantage in that, Mr Hodgson?

"This is a disgrace - the Minister's arrogance knows no bounds. Does he really believe farmers would accept a situation where they would be happy to foot the bill for this research - only to have it made available to freeloaders to use as they wish, with absolutely no provision for compensation?

"Mr Hodgson and Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton must front up and explain themselves to farmers. The farming community deserves an unequivocal apology from Labour for creating this mess. Scrapping the `Flatulence Tax' would be a good start," Mr Eckhoff said.

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