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Royal Commission Starts This Morning

The formal hearings of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification start this morning.

Aventis Crop Science and Du Pont will present their evidence today.

The companies have brought scientists into New Zealand to be part of their evidence teams.

Naomi Stevens of Australia and Dr Rob McDonald, a canola expert from Canada, will give evidence for Aventis and are expected to be cross-examined about recent events in the United States involving the "adventitious" presence of StarLink corn in flour used to make taco shells (0.03%). StarLink corn had only been approved as feed for animals because of uncertainty about whether or not there was an allergenicity issue arising from the protein expressed in the modified corn.

Du Pont has brought expatriate New Zealand scientist, Dr Clive Holland, and Australian Leo Hyde to New Zealand to give evidence.

The first day of the hearings is expected to be very well attended and to provide some insights into the way the rest of the Inquiry will be handled by the Chairman, Sir Thomas Eichelbaum.


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