Federated Farmers has dropped a legal battle against rulings allowing regional councils to decide whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be banned in their areas.
But the farmers lobby stands by its position that GMO technology should not be regulated by councils, but by government.
The move signals the end of a long-running legal challenge against Northland councils and groups that oppose the use of GMOs.
Federated Farmers earlier this year went to the Court of Appeal, after its appeals to the Environment Court and High Court were dismissed.
Federated Farmers had contested local government had no role in legislating about GMOs and that the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), not the Resource Management Act (RMA), was the overarching legislation that governs how GMOs were used in New Zealand.
Federated Farmers confirmed it was withdrawing its appeal, just weeks before a scheduled hearing, after concluding recent amendments to the RMA would likely have “materially reduced” the prospects of winning it.
Those amendments had effectively blocked the Minister for the Environment from being able to permit GMO crops in regions that had elected to remain GMO-free or impose controls on the use of GMOs.
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