with Brett Petersen
Kiwi Fertiliser & Golden Bay Dolomite
There is no more important job than growing food for human consumption. Some growers and farmers care very much about the end product. Others just churn out maximum yield without consideration of quality. Some work with nature, biology and the environment to assist potentially healthy consumers. For example, Grandad’s Beef and many other organic producers. Others use toxic chemical sprays, accept pollution and exploit the environment to suit their businesses. Further along the chain the list of man-made diseases that are inflicted on humans, and the environment, keep increasing.
‘Cures’ for diseases are always just around the corner. It’s been that way for 100 years. It is not in big businesses’ interests to cure anything. Nor do we need cures, unless they are short-term stop-gap measures. Cure of an acceptance disease is inevitable; of the status quo; of more ambulances at the bottom of the cliff. What we should be aspiring to is ideal health, so we don’t get sick in the first place. New Zealand is a small, isolated country and needs to focus on pristine produce, environment and results – not Genetically Engineered or Genetically Modified Organism-produced food or lab-meat or oxymoronic artificial ‘food’. We don’t need factory food. We need healthy land producing healthy food.
What is the Environmental Protection Authority for? On their website, they say: “The work we do each day is about protecting the environment and enhancing a safe and sustainable way of life, and future, for all New Zealanders”. So why do we have more than 30,000 so-called safe, but potentially disease-causing substances in daily use? Does the EPA and other authorities not believe that a cell is a cell is a cell? Who or what owns the cell is irrelevant. Why does EPA accept that substances are safe before they are proven safe and introduced to the environment and to us? Disease is not compulsory, but it is almost impossible to die of old age anymore. Such government organisations have failed and are a disgrace. We are poisoning the environment. The environment is poisoning us. We reap what we sow.
Genetic Engineering or GMO may or may not have a place. Prove it first. It may be that they could be used to destroy weeds and pests. Gorse, broom, blackberry, seem like a good starting place for weeds. Mustelids, possums, rodents for pests. Success must be specific. We do not need cures. We need the right to stay healthy and safe in the first place. We need a healthy environment. We haven’t got one.
How is it that the USA with its wealth, science, technology, universities, intelligence and ‘Of the People, by the People, for the People’ philosophy is at the bottom of the list for health statistics? It seems the more technology and science and medicine we have, the further we are driven from nature, common sense and good health. Are we in NZ doomed to follow like blind, deaf and dumb lemmings? Do we really want to be cash cows for corporations? We already are.
Reply: EPA an independent, evidence-based regulator
In response to Brett Petersen’s column above, the Environmental Protection Authority’s acting general manager for hazardous substances and new organisms, Clark Ehlers, says the EPA is an independent, evidence-based regulator.
“We make decisions about whether to allow certain chemical products into New Zealand, as well as the rules – known as controls – governing their use, storage and disposal here. These controls enable risks to be managed.
“The EPA does not accept substances are safe without proof. We assess applications and weigh up the risks and benefits using our risk assessment model.
“We use science and evidence, and cultural perspectives, in our assessment of new hazardous substances.
“These inform the decisions we make to fulfil our pledge to protect the environment and enhance a safe and sustainable way of life, and future, for all New Zealanders.
“Similarly, we make decisions about new organisms, a term that covers all sorts of living things from tiny viruses to large plants and animals that are not present in NZ. The EPA’s chemical reassessment programme reviews hazardous substances already approved in NZ.” This can be done for a range of reasons – details about this important programme are available at: https://www.epa.govt.nz/industry-areas/hazardous-substances/chemical-reassessment-programme/
“More information, including a video that explains the process we follow for all these types of decisions, is available on EPA’s website and on the Ministry for the Environment’s website,” says Clark.