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Greens delighted at King Salmon backdown

25 February 2000

Greens delighted at King Salmon backdown

Green party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was delighted at today's news that the King Salmon Company were to stop genetic engineering experiments on their salmon.

The announcement comes less than two days after the Environmental Risk Management Authority ordered increased security at the company's Kaituna hatchery after it was revealed that eggs from genetically engineered fish could possibly have escaped into the wild.

Last year Ms Fitzsimons revealed that some engineered salmon at the hatchery were developing abnormalities such as deformed heads.

Ms Fitzsimons welcomed the decision to shut down the experiments saying the move was a resounding victory for public pressure.

"This move by King Salmon shows good commercial sense given the high levels of public concern at their work," she said. "It follows similar moves by the Kiwifruit Marketing Board and ENZA to distance themselves from genetic engineering in the face of stiff consumer resistance.

"This announcement is also in line with an international agreement within the salmon industry which states that the genetic engineering of salmon to produce extra growth hormone should not be commercialised due to the high environmental risk," she said.

"The Greens have shared intense public concern over these trials and are absolutely delighted that the work is stopping and the prospect of commercial production of genetically engineered fish, which would have been held in sea cages is over.

"The risk of escape into the wild population would then have been extremely likely and the consequences could have been disasterous," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Ends

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 021 212 0642


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