The Soil & Health Association is welcoming last week’s “Knowing what’s out there” report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. The report criticises New Zealand’s lack of monitoring and regulation of environmental harm from chemicals.
“New Zealand lags behind other countries on monitoring and regulation of toxic agrichemicals, putting our health, environment and overseas trade agenda at risk,” says Soil & Health spokesperson Jodie Bruning.
“A more integrated framework, suggested by the report, will help the right hand know what the left hand is doing, this is currently not happening in New Zealand, when it comes to environmental chemicals.
“For example the Environmental Protection Agency, our government watchdog on these issues, had to make a public appeal last year for information on glyphosate use. Why do they need to resort to this? Because they don’t monitor glyphosate’s use, availability, or impacts. There’s no feedback loop between the agencie and our territorial and local authorities.
“It’s been shown that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and its widespread use in New Zealand must be stopped.
“Glyphosate is the tip of the iceberg. Our regulatory settings are useless if we are not informed about environmental pollution, and if regulator is not keeping an eye on what’s happening on the ground.
“The government needs to take this report seriously. This includes expediting a formal reassessment of glyphosate as a key next step in protecting New Zealanders and the natural environment from harm.”
The PCE report is covered here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/462653/lack-of-mechanisms-to-govern-chemical-use-in-nz-commissioner