|Urgent - Biosafety Protocol - Take action (14/3/2006)|
Adrian Bebb of FoE:
We urgently need to take action against the New Zealand government who are attempting to block the Biosafety Protocol from being implemented. The negotiations are currently taking place in Curitiba in Brazil. We would like to ask you to send either a fax or, if not possible, an email to the New Zealand Prime Minister.
The key issue is whether developing countries will have the right to know whether shipments coming into their country contain genetically modified organisms. If they do not know if a shipment has GMOs in then they cannot implement any biosafety legislation. Their food and environment will become contaminated.
We have attached below a draft letter. Please feel free to edit it into your own words. Please send a fax as soon as possible. If you cannot then please send an email.
For further information on the Protocol:
FAX Number: +64 4 473 3579
Don¹t block the world from strong biosafety laws
Dear Prime Minister Helen Clark
I am writing to express my grave concern that New Zealand intends to play a blocking role on the issue of identification and documentation of genetically modified organisms in food and feed at the Biosafety Protocol meeting currently being held in Curitiba, Brazil.
The Biosafety Protocol was born out of the visionary objectives of the Rio Earth Summit and is focused on protecting the world¹s magnificent biodiversity and human health from the risks associated with trade in genetically modified organisms.
There are indications that New Zealand delegates instead intend to undermine consensus, as they did already at MOP2 in Montreal in 2005, and shut down agreement on precise and efficient wording within article 18.2(a) of this all-important environmental Protocol.
I am very concerned that New Zealand may remain the only nation prepared to block an international standard, designed to provide equal rights of information and protection from the risks of GMOs to all citizens of the world.
The Protocol is most important for the world¹s poorest nations who often lack dedicated biosafety legislation and the complex biosecurity infrastructure that New Zealand enjoys. These nation¹s food security and biodiversity are most at risk from unidentified and potentially illegal imports of GMOs for food feed and processing.
In the spirit of New Zealand's good reputation as an international citizen, defender of the environment and advocate of sustainable development and the right of nations to know what is entering their borders, I urge you to ensure that the New Zealand delegation in Brazil actively seek a constructive solution to securing consensus on this core environmental treaty.