Cows Spark Anti-GE Protest
Victoria University of Wellington Ecoaction Group
Students from Victoria University environmental group Ecoaction will hold an anti-genetic engineering protest at the High Court tomorrow. The protest focuses on the appeal of AgResearch of the High Court decision to terminate their current research involving genetically engineered cows.
The cows have been genetically engineered to produce a human protein, Myelin Base Protein, which according to AgResearch will aid MS sufferers. Ecoaction spokesperson Esme Gibbins says “It has not been proved that the protein will actually benefit MS suffers, and other possibilities for producing this protein in the lab have not been explored. The introduction of human genes into cows is not only something which the public has had no consultation about, but is also not essential for the purposes of this experiment.”
Ecoaction oppose genetic engineering of any kind and while the killing of 60 cows is regrettable, spokesperson Claire Wilson says “It is necessary as the effluence from the genetically engineered calves could lead to contamination and other unforeseen damages to the environment, ultimately affecting humans. The High Court’s decision must be upheld”.
The demonstration is staged in order to bring public attention to the contentious issue of mixing human genes with those of cows. The protest will be held outside the Wellington High Court tomorrow at 10.00 am with protesters dressing in cow suits. Postcards will also be available from a stall that targets the governments’ decision on the reporting of the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering in August.