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Environment Minister Pleased With Montreal Outcome

Media Release
Hon Marian Hobbs
Minister for the Environment

30 January 2000


The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, says she's proud the coalition government has been able to achieve its goals at the biosafety conference in Montreal.

The UN-sponsored conference has agreed on a Biosafety Protocol, which sets strict rules for trade in living organisms that have been altered genetically. It also sets out rules for trade in food, animal feed and other products made from the organisms.

"The protocol means the environment will be given equal weight with that of trade," Ms Hobbs said. "Virtually since the government took office we have been working on this biosafety protocol.

"We wanted a protocol to come out of Montreal rather than another failure but we wanted a 'more green' position than had been taken in the past.

"The Precautionary Principle, which will allow domestic laws to apply to the importation of living modified organisms (LMOs), is enshrined in the heart of the document.

"There's been a compromise between trade and the environment and I am pleased they will be on the same footing."

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