Bayer Fails to Overturn European Ban on Bee-Harming Pesticides
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Bayer Fails to Overturn European Ban on Bee-Harming Pesticides

The European Union’s highest court has rejected Bayer’s bid to overturn a European law which heavily restricted the use of bee-harming pesticides. In 2013 the European Union banned neonicotinoid, or ‘neonic’ use on bee-attractive crops. In 2018 the ban was extended to use on all outdoor crops, including annual arable crops, cereals and horticultural crops. The General Court decision, released Thursday, is…

Concerns remain on improved Organic Products Bill 
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Concerns remain on improved Organic Products Bill 

Concerns for the future of New Zealand’s domestic organic industry have dampened enthusiasm for the Organic Products Bill which returned from Select Committee with some significant and useful changes, says the Soil & Health Association. “We represent the thousands of people buying, growing and selling organic products,” says Soil & Health’s general manager Pete Huggins….

Climate advice means government should support transition to organic, regenerative farming
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Climate advice means government should support transition to organic, regenerative farming

Today’s Climate Commission advice shows we need a transition from synthetic fertilisers and other harmful practices towards organic and regenerative agriculture, said Soil & Health Association spokesperson Jenny Lux today. “Organic regenerative farming is a huge opportunity for New Zealand, both economically and environmentally. Early movers have shown that we can make that shift rapidly….

Green Party organics policy adds vital ingredient to national debate on the environment
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Green Party organics policy adds vital ingredient to national debate on the environment

“It’s encouraging to see the Green Party reinforce their commitment to organic agriculture from their position in government,” says Jenny Lux, spokesperson for the Soil & Health Association, New Zealand’s largest organic membership organisation. “We’d like to see all political parties exploring the opportunities regenerative organic agriculture offers in terms of environmental protection, healthy food,…

Law change can support organic dairy and revitalise waterways
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Law change can support organic dairy and revitalise waterways

Soil & Health want Fonterra to collect all certified and in transition to organic Fonterra milk and to pay a premium for it, irrespective of locality. “We want to see the Government better commit to organic dairy production and therefore more sustainable farming practices,” says Soil & Health National Council member and former Green Party…

A win for clean, green, GE-free New Zealand
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A win for clean, green, GE-free New Zealand

The Soil & Health Association is celebrating the decision by Federated Farmers to abandon its appeal against the right of councils to control the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their territories. Federated Farmers filed its latest appeal earlier this year in the Court of Appeal, after its appeals to the Environment Court and…

Nitrogen fertiliser: the elephant in the room
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Nitrogen fertiliser: the elephant in the room

High nitrate levels recently measured in the Tasman’s Waimea Plains signal yet another alarm bell for the health of our waterways, and the urgent need to reduce or eliminate the use of soluble nitrogen fertilisers, says the Soil & Health Association. “Fencing off waterways and riparian planting is all well and good, but it’s not…

Court ruling highlights the dangers of RMA reforms
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Court ruling highlights the dangers of RMA reforms

A new court ruling highlights how the Government’s RMA reforms will ride roughshod over public participation in resource management and the power of councils to regulate the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) within their territories, says Soil & Health Association chair Marion Thomson. On Friday the High Court rejected Federated Farmers’ bid to oppose…

Comprehensive New Review of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Underscores Urgent Need for Global Action
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Comprehensive New Review of Monsanto’s Glyphosate Underscores Urgent Need for Global Action

In a “state of the science” review released today, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International presents a large body of research documenting the adverse human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides and underscores the need for these to be phased out globally. Environmental and health advocates say the monograph on the world’s most…

GE Free from the Bombays to Cape Reinga
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GE Free from the Bombays to Cape Reinga

GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association are celebrating the Far North and Whangarei District Councils’ decisions to retain precautionary and prohibitive genetically modified organisms (GMOs) provisions in their new District Plans.  This follows Auckland Council’s recent decision to retain similar precautionary and prohibitive GMO provisions in the new Unitary Plan.  The result…

GMO COURT RULING PROTECTS ENTIRE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
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GMO COURT RULING PROTECTS ENTIRE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

New Zealand’s biotech industry is not under threat as a result of a High Court ruling upholding an Environment Court’s decision to give regional councils control over use and release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their district, says the Soil and Health Association. The High Court ruling on Wednesday was based on an appeal…

High Court ruling on GE a win for democracy
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High Court ruling on GE a win for democracy

The High Court has today upheld the ruling that regional councils do have the right to decide on the provisions, policies, and rules regarding the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their region.   The Soil & Health Association (Soil & Health) celebrates this landmark decision as a win not only in the fight…

Joining forces to clean up food and farming
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Joining forces to clean up food and farming

The urgency of what’s happening to our food supply has motivated two key organic organisations to join forces. To counter industrial-style factory farming and food production, which is causing environmental degradation and ill health, Soil & Health and BioGro are working together to offer clean, green organic solutions. The Soil & Health Association (publisher of…

Climate-friendly farming: we have the solutions
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Climate-friendly farming: we have the solutions

We have good news for John Key! At the climate talks in Paris, Prime Minister John Key said that cost-effective technologies for reducing New Zealand’s agricultural emissions were not yet available.   However, according to the Soil & Health Association, not only do we already have the technology and the know-how to reduce greenhouse gas…

Maize spill shows risks of GE seed escape
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Maize spill shows risks of GE seed escape

New Zealand’s valuable GE-free status is under threat from biosecurity breaches, says the Soil & Health Association. Two spills in New Plymouth last week of maize imported from the USA show how it’s possible for genetically engineered seed to escape containment – and potentially grow.   “Well over 80% of maize grown in the US…

Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?
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Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?

The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some farmers, both organic and conventional, fear he may use his position to continue to promote…

Think tank calls for GE-free farming
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Think tank calls for GE-free farming

A Wellington think tank’s call for New Zealand to be a GE-free food and fibre producer has been welcomed by the Soil & Health Association. The latest McGuinness Institute report, ‘An Overview of Genetic Modification in New Zealand, 1973–2013’ was released on 29 August. “This comprehensive and thoroughly researched report sums up a lot of…

Country of origin labelling initiative applauded
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Country of origin labelling initiative applauded

“Soil & Health applauds the recent initiative by Quality Mark to identify on the label all beef and lamb that is not grown in New Zealand,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson for Soil & Health – Organic NZ. Numerous groups and organisations, including Soil & Health, Horticulture New Zealand and the Green Party, have been campaigning…

Toxic fracking waste entering food supply?
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Toxic fracking waste entering food supply?

”The practice of dumping toxic oil drilling and fracking waste on farmland is compromising the ability of New Zealand farmers to grow good food,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ. Her comments follow recent media attention that 12 farmers in Taranaki practicing so-called ‘land farming’ are providing milk to Fonterra. Land…