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Cystic Fibrosis Association Canterbury Branch


Cystic Fibrosis Association Canterbury Branch

P O Box 20 251

CHRISTCHURCH

15 September 2003


Mr Menendez & Ms Er

Organisers

Take5 Campaign

AUCKLAND


Dear Mr Menendez and Ms Er

We feel compelled to write to you regarding your recently launched anti-GE campaign and voice our extreme concern at your stance.

Your encouragement to have people sign their unborn children on your petition is not only highly unethical but begs the question, as asked by Nick Smith in the Sunday Times “what if that child was born with a genetic illness”. I believe that child would not wish to support your anti-science stance or be part of such a campaign.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening, terminal genetic illness and as such is relying on science to develop a significant treatment or cure for this disease. Medical science has made great advances in the treatment of this disease and will continue to do so.

Your postcard of a white coated, rubber gloved scientist feeding a baby is clearly designed to inspire a mis-trust of science. In our situation that same scientist’s hand would be giving the medicines that keep our children alive. They are working relentlessly to ensure our children have the chance to reach their full potential.

Likewise your claim to support the development of GE medicine is misleading. You align yourself closely to the other anti-GE groups who have stated they oppose bio-pharming, gene therapy, stem cell research and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. These technologies will be vital to the advancement in treatment of cystic fibrosis.

The life span for people with CF has gone from 5 years to 30. That is a significant achievement and solely due to medical science. Whereas I can state quite categorically all the organic hummus you could grow will not cure Cystic Fibrosis.

Yours sincerely

Nicky Churton

Secretary

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