Posts by Steffan Browning

  • Steffan Browning

    Is Key misrepresenting us over Five-Eyes? - by Steffan Browning



    Over the weekend, American investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill was interviewed on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ programme. Jeremy Scahill is the National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and the author of the international bestseller ‘Blackwater’. His latest book, ‘Dirty Wars’, raises questions about America’s war on terror, including the use of drones. In the […] read more
    May 19, 2014 10:24 am - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Labour finally CoOL - by Steffan Browning



    In an extraordinary turn around, and after years of refusing to budge on the issue, Labour has come out in support of Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for our food, with an amendment to the Food Bill. It’s great they now agree with something the Greens have been pushing for over a decade. This […] read more
    May 9, 2014 10:44 am - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Why I’m voting for the Food Bill - by Steffan Browning



    You should be able to trust that what’s on your plate is safe and healthy. The Food Bill modernises the laws that ensure we can trust what’s on our plate. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to improve this Bill. With your support I’ve been able to ensure that: Genetic Modification has been reinstated […] read more
    May 2, 2014 3:28 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it? - by Steffan Browning



    Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it? The announcement of the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp and paper and packaging businesses to Japanese interests, consolidates New Zealand’s forestry interests into foreign ownership. Over 70% of plantation forests are already owned by overseas interests and now all the major forest products processors are foreign […] read more
    April 28, 2014 10:57 am - 18 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Climate change report should signal change in forestry species and management - by Steffan Browning



    This week saw the release of the IPCC report pointing to significant trends in climatic effects on New Zealand farming and forestry. One trend was that climate change is expected to increase the number of days with very high and extreme fire weather. This has equally severe implications for forestry as we know it in […] read more
    April 3, 2014 12:52 pm - 4 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Dusky dolphins are a ‘canary’ for fisheries issues - by Steffan Browning



    Below is a shortened version of the opinion piece that I wrote for the Marlborough Express: Canaries were used down coal mines to warn workers about dangerous gases. If the canary died, the miners knew to get out. The Marlborough Sounds have their own “canaries” – including king shags and dusky dolphins. When these populations […] read more
    March 4, 2014 10:34 am - No Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Pesticide residues in many foods – organic is the answer - by Steffan Browning



    Yesterday, the agri-chemical industry’s New Zealand association Agcarm tried to spin its way out of the fact that almost all of about 600 samples analysed in Safe Food Campaign’s Dirty Dozen 2013 list contained pesticide residues. The Dirty Dozen Food in New Zealand more likely to contain pesticide residues ranked according to number of pesticides […] read more
    February 13, 2014 5:07 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    USA NSA Surveillance Ruling Has NZ Link - by Steffan Browning



    A USA Federal Judge has just ruled that mass surveillance of the phone network by their National Security Agency (NSA) is legal. This contradicts another recent ruling where another Federal judge said such surveillance was ‘indiscriminate’ and an ‘arbitrary invasion.’ In New Zealand the head of the GCSB Ian Fletcher at a public Security and […] read more
    December 28, 2013 4:05 pm - 11 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Precautionary approach to GE in the Bay of Plenty? - by Steffan Browning



    I had a visitor this week from the USA. Phillip Geertson called into New Zealand to describe to me in detail how genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa (lucerne) had effectively contaminated all conventional alfalfa growing areas in the United States, and why we should be concerned about any further imports of alfalfa seed here. Phillip’s company, […] read more
    November 28, 2013 2:02 pm - 5 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Roses are red … but where are those violets from? - by Steffan Browning



    3 News had an interesting story on about flower growers calling for country of origin labelling on flowers in New Zealand. We have long been calling for country of origin labelling on food and it is interesting to hear yet another industry saying that they are struggling against cheap imports. The imported flowers are taking […] read more
    October 15, 2013 5:11 pm - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    NZ laws and global surveillance - by Steffan Browning



    This is a pretty interesting time for New Zealand to be dramatically changing our surveillance laws. The Key Government has chosen (albeit somewhat forced to after the Kim Dotcom saga) to make significant changes to the GCSB and TICS bills at the same time as serious global conversations continue about government mass surveillance. Thanks to […] read more
    October 11, 2013 10:26 pm - 9 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    TICS and you - by Steffan Browning



    This week I’ve been on a bit of a theme, writing about how the TICS bill will impact NZ’s IT sector and the parts of the bill that have upset internet’s biggest companies. Today I want to bring it back to what this bill means for you, me, and the rest of New Zealand – […] read more
    October 10, 2013 8:04 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Consumer NZ shines a light on Salmon farming - by Steffan Browning



    Consumer NZ has recently published a chilling release for anyone who is partial to salmon. They looked into what farmed salmon is actually fed, and did omega-3 testing to find out whether labeling was true to claim. Consumer has put a spotlight on some of the King Salmon’s claims about what they feed their fish. […] read more
    October 9, 2013 5:39 pm - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    Govt risking innovation & business in the name of security - by Steffan Browning



    This week I’ve been blogging about the TICS bill, the Government’s change to the Telecommunications Act to require telecommunication firms to assist intelligence agencies in intercepting and decrypting phone calls, text messages and emails. As well as the privacy concerns about this bill, one of the big issues is the risk for future job creation […] read more
    October 9, 2013 5:29 pm - No Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Why this Govt is on the wrong side of Google, Facebook & Microsoft - by Steffan Browning



    It’s not often that the list of submitters to a bill in NZ includes names like Google, Facebook and Microsoft. But they were amongst the 94 submissions that we considered at the select committee on the TICS bill. And they were among the submitters who had real concerns about this piece of legislation. As I […] read more
    October 8, 2013 6:48 pm - 3 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Why you should care about TICS - by Steffan Browning



    The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill, otherwise known as the TICS bill, will be back in Parliament next week. This bill is a big deal, so over the next week in the lead-up to it being debated again, I’m going to do a series of blog posts about what this bill means for different […] read more
    October 7, 2013 11:00 am - 3 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    The Great White Butterfly effect - by Steffan Browning



    This National Government is far too lax on biosecurity. I was reminded once again of this on my visit to Nelson yesterday to find out about how the eradication programme of the Great White Butterfly (GWB) is progressing. This voracious pest was found a few years ago for the first time in New Zealand. It […] read more
    October 1, 2013 4:12 pm - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    Next step in the fight against a surveillance state – the TICS bill - by Steffan Browning



    The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill, otherwise known as the TICS bill, is an accompanying bill to the GCSB legislation that passed last month. In a nutshell, this bill forces communications providers to provide ‘lawful intercept’ capabilities so that the GCSB, SIS and Police can access New Zealanders’ communications. It also gives the GCSB […] read more
    September 23, 2013 10:58 am - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    Bees and you – what can you do to help - by Steffan Browning



    In the current absence of leadership from the Government on action to keep bee populations healthy, there is plenty that you can do in your home gardens to help. Gardening for bees Don’t use pesticides. If you need to use them, avoid spraying when flowers are in bloom. Spray early in the morning or at […] read more
    August 23, 2013 1:56 pm - 3 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Government seems set on GE contamination path - by Steffan Browning



    This weekend, Minister for the Environment Amy Adams followed through with an earlier threat to initiate legislative changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA), which include removing councils’ ability to control genetically modified organisms through their local plans. This is legislation to allow contamination and community conflict. It must be stopped! Councils including Bay of […] read more
    August 12, 2013 3:28 pm - 5 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    FCV exemptions are very fishy - by Steffan Browning



    The exemptions given to tuna fishers and Iwi from the Foreign Chartered Vessel (FCV) legislation currently in front of Parliament are appalling and will undermine this otherwise worthy legislation. The Green Party does not agree with any exemptions that mean slave ships continue to operate in our waters beyond the already generous time agreed for […] read more
    July 31, 2013 4:12 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Research supports organic farming solution to pesticide residues - by Steffan Browning



    University of Otago researchers have come to the same conclusion as the Green Party regarding pesticide use. In a statement released today, researchers concluded, “We can minimise the environmental impact of farming by going towards organic farming.” This was the result of a study published in the latest Environmental Pollution journal which found agricultural chemical […] read more
    July 29, 2013 6:40 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Why do we want a GE free NZ? - by Steffan Browning



    What does the Green Party have in common with the CEO of one of our largest food companies? Goodman Fielder’s CEO Peter Reidie said in the Herald’s Chief Executives survey released today that we need “clean, green, pure, quality systems, ‘safe’ food, no GMO’s.” Goodman Fielder owns a huge number of the iconic food brands […] read more
    July 25, 2013 11:57 am - 6 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Fish habitat protection and commercial catch limits are needed to protect families’ snapper catch - by Steffan Browning



    Current fisheries discussion documents open for submission include how the snapper fishery for east Northland and the Hauraki Gulf–Bay of Plenty is to be divided among customary, recreational and commercial fishers. While usefully leaving customary take at its current levels, the remaining catch allowance has been suggested to be reduced for recreational fishers, at a […] read more
    July 23, 2013 4:54 pm - 5 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Chemicals remain in our foods - by Steffan Browning



    The Environmental Protection Authority is effectively the Chemical Promotions Authority with its decision yesterday allowing continued use of all organophosphate (OP) and pesticides currently used in New Zealand, although safer alternatives exist. Although some will be phased out between 2 and 15 years, the only banned OP chemicals are those no longer in use. Organophosphates […] read more
    June 28, 2013 4:52 pm - 10 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    A GE rollercoaster week - by Steffan Browning



    This week has been a bit of a GE rollercoaster. On the downward spiral side, last weekend we heard that Britain will be pushing for a relaxation of rules in Europe to allow for GE crops to be grown and sold into the human food supply. Then on Wednesday we received the latest Journal of […] read more
    June 14, 2013 1:14 pm - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    It’s time to submit against spying - by Steffan Browning



    John Key may be comfortable with many things but we are not comfortable; we are not comfortable with, among many things, John Key’s pandering to the USA’s spymasters, and the wholesale spying on New Zealanders, either already happening or intended to, and assisted by the law changes in front of Parliament now; the GCSB and Telco Interception Bills. read more
    June 10, 2013 10:18 am - 37 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    March Against Monsanto - by Steffan Browning



    I will be hosting the Christchurch March Against Monsanto this Saturday, joined by genetics scientist Professor Jack Heinemann and author Christine Dann. There are events all over the country, all over the world in fact. Find your closest below and join us in this exciting global event to claim back control of our food system. […] read more
    May 24, 2013 11:17 am - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    David vs. Monsanto - by Steffan Browning



    Monsanto’s busy lawyers Last Monday the US Supreme Court found in favour of Monsanto over yet another small farmer. Indiana soybean farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman bought some seeds from a grain company, where other farmers drop off their seed. He only wanted to sow cheap seed so bought what he called ‘junk grain’. It was […] read more
    May 15, 2013 3:59 pm - 9 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Precious kauri need committed action - by Steffan Browning



    Kauri dieback disease (Phytopthorataxon Agathis or PTA) needs a solution but this Government isn’t providing it. The relentless killer of our iconic kauri is not waiting and the group tasked with tackling PTA, is lacking a $5 million government commitment to achieve a breakthrough. The famous giant kauri, Tāne Mahuta, and the kauri forests deserve […] read more
    May 10, 2013 4:34 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    GE not our farming future - by Steffan Browning



    The Government’s National Science Challenges include an arrogant intention to spend taxpayers’ money on swaying community opposition towards support for genetic engineering. While the jargon loaded Challenge documents are a struggle to read, the message by pro-GE scientists in the primary production section is clear. For the primary production challenge, first on the list under […] read more
    May 2, 2013 4:36 pm - 54 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    We need to address bee health - by Steffan Browning



    The European Commission has just announced exciting plans to restrict the use of bee harming pesticides across Europe. We need to get the health of bees on the agenda of our Government so that we can protect these vital little insects. I wrote to the Chair of the Primary Production Select Committee yesterday to get […] read more
    May 2, 2013 3:58 pm - 9 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Toxic agenda bad for farmers - by Steffan Browning



    I recently had an opinion piece published in the Straight Furrow newspaper. Here is what I wrote. (note: corrected from earlier post) Toxic agenda erodes green brand Our clean green brand is something we need to fiercely protect, but this Government is effectively eroding it instead. National has gutted the Emissions Trading Scheme and is […] read more
    April 26, 2013 2:23 pm - 2 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Fonterra’s organic flip flop - by Steffan Browning



    Fonterra has just announced that it is renewing organic milk supply contracts in Manawatu, Taranaki, and Wairarapa for two years and three years for Waikato and Bay of Plenty farmers, but dropping Northland contracts as they come up for renewal. Manawatu, Taranaki and Wairarapa farmers had been told in 2011 that their contracts were not […] read more
    April 16, 2013 10:13 am - 11 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    PGG Wrightson must stop its GE experiment. - by Steffan Browning



    PGG Wrightson is controlling shareholder Agria’s push to have the two companies’ seed divisions merge into an international seed company rivalling controversial genetic engineering giant Monsanto.  It’s a disturbing development for New Zealand’s future. Neither genetic engineering (GE) or Monsanto have anything to offer New Zealand’s reputation as a provider of the safe, nutritious, sustainably […] read more
    April 9, 2013 10:32 am - 34 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Environmental certification for New Zealand King Salmon is farcical - by Steffan Browning



    New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) recently withdrew sponsorship support for the Tui Nature Reserve Wildlife Trust after the Trust opposed NZKS’ plans for new salmon farms in the Pelorus Sounds. This punishment contributes to doubt about the merits of NZKS’s recently gained Global Aquaculture Alliance certification. NZ King Salmon’s withdrawal of support for the Tui […] read more
    April 5, 2013 2:51 pm - 1 Comment
  • Steffan Browning

    Selling New Zealand’s brand and profits - by Steffan Browning



    New Zealand is headed towards having our farming families becoming peasants in their own land by allowing further and unnecessary foreign investment into processing of New Zealand dairy production. The ticking off of two new foreign dairy processors into New Zealand production by the Overseas Investment Office is a huge opportunity cost to New Zealand’s […] read more
    April 4, 2013 9:55 am - 13 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Top spy job appointment needs transparency - by Steffan Browning



    Lack of oversight of New Zealand’s external spy agency the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), makes it even more important that there’s transparency around the appointment of its head. John Key encouraged family friend and school mate Ian Fletcher, who he had kept contact with in recent years, to apply for the chief spy position. […] read more
    April 3, 2013 12:37 pm - 101 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    Government must lead on climate - by Steffan Browning



    I have just had an opinion piece printed in Farmers Weekly. Here is what I wrote: As the list of regions being declared drought areas grows it’s distressing to see land and animals suffering from the lack of water. This summer’s drought has cost the country $1 billion and counting and might even take us […] read more
    April 2, 2013 8:57 am - 113 Comments
  • Steffan Browning

    We must stop gambling with food standards - by Steffan Browning



    I keep being astounded by our food safety regulator’s lax attitude to genetically engineered food. This new report shows that once again they are making assumptions that GE food is safe without requiring any real evidence. I want to see an urgent reassessment of how genetically engineered (GE) foods are evaluated for food safety in […] read more
    March 27, 2013 1:33 pm - 7 Comments