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IBAC Inappropriate To Replace Royal Commission

12 January 2000

IBAC Inappropriate To Replace Royal Commission

Suggestions that the Independent Biosecurity Advisory Council (IBAC) could render a Royal Commission of Inquiry into genetic engineering unnecessary are preposterous, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

The suggestion is made in briefing papers from IBAC to the incoming Minister of Science Pete Hodgson.

Ms Kedgley said IBAC did not have the confidence of the public that it is a truly independent and impartial organisation. "Some of the IBAC members are directly involved in genetic engineering and some have taken a public position in favour of the technology," she said.

The report on genetic engineering released yesterday by IBAC bought a narrow economic focus to a wide ranging and complex issue and ignored ethical, health, safety and animal welfare concerns, she said.

"As well, the secret manner of the consultations IBAC has undertaken over the last six weeks have further undermined confidence in its ability to operate in an open and transparent manner," she said.

"Under the circumstances there is no way that such an organisation could undertake an independent, comprehensive and wide ranging public inquiry into genetic engineering.

"For this to take place a group of truly independent individuals who have the trust and confidence of the New Zealand public is needed," Ms Kedgley said.

Ends

Sue Kedgley 025 270 9088


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