A group of growers and farmers, who have been campaigning under the Pure Hawke’s Bay banner for a GM ban in the region, say the council’s move should result in a “major economic opportunity” because of the premium global markets place on unmodified food.
The council – Hawke’s Bay’s largest territorial authority, responsible for an area that includes a significant proportion of the region’s horticultural and agricultural activity – has amended its District Plan to prohibit the release and field trials of GM crops and animals.
Never mind the Royal Commission that spent years looking at the evidence and found it was safe. Never mind the fact GM food is having some huge impacts in boosting food production in third world countries, boosting incomes and preventing starvation.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said he shared the producers’ view that being able to claim GM-free status provided the region with a significant economic opportunity.
“We produce some of the best food in the world. There is a premium for GM-free food and we think that for the 10-year life of the District Plan we should use that to our advantage in terms of a market opportunity.”
He said it was a brave move for his council to take but “the community has been quite strong in supporting this so we’ve gone out and done something about it”.
It’s a cowardly move, not a brave move.