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Ed Sheeran

Northland Regional Council takes GMO stand
Photo: Protect and Keep Northland GE Free Collective 2019

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Environmentalists are applauding Northland Regional Council's move to tighten up the use of genetic engineering.

Its new regional plan proposes a precautionary approach to the release of genetically modified organisms or GMOs, including making bonds a condition of resource consents and a demanding risk management plan for field trials.

It brings the council in line with the Whangarei and Far North district plans.

GE-Free Te Tai Tokerau chair Zelka Linda Grammer says the effects on tangata whenua also need to be assessed in any proposal.

She says it's a big turnaround.

"The regional council has been in the past very resistant to doing anything to protect the region and the coast from say an experiment to tutu around with genetically engineered fish, and there have been applications in the past, but this means not only the land but the coastal marine area in Taitokerau as well as in Auckland region are now protected," Ms Grammer says.

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