Organics, GM and The MarketWednesday, Nov 22, 2000
The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has this week been hearing submissions from sectors of
the primary industry showing how important continuing research and development of the biosciences
will be to the future of New Zealand.
The emotive Green Groups - particularly the political side - have been using the hearing as an opportunity
to openly attack the values and expectations of the majority of New Zealand farmers by trying
to steer producers down the organics or nothing track. The Greens have a religious zeal, like the
prohibitionists of the past and if granted their wishes they will lead the market into equally
Irrespective of the productive methods used to produce quality foods true to label, free of hazards
and sustainably using resources, the NZ farmer must respond to the market to survive. The days of
production for the sake of production from farms have long since past - a fact that escapes the Green
Recent surveys, which claim that up to seventy percent of NZ farmers would wish to produce organically,
are falsely based.It is not the personal wish of the farmer to produce organically rather the
need to respond to the perceived demand of the market for organic products being falsely promoted
by the green extremists.
Warren Larsen of the Dairy Board put organics in perspective by pointing out it is only the wealthy
consumers in the rich nations who can indulge themselves in the semantics of paying a premium for
"healthy" food as defined by the organics lobby. The vast majority of consumers of the food which
New Zealand produces, struggle to pay for their daily needs at any price. .
Niche marketing is an illusion and a cop out when applied to the volume of commodity food that NZ is
so capable of producing. Organics as promoted by the Greens is not niche marketing - it is restricted
marketing to a privileged few.
Beware of false prophets promoting organics and anti technology!