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Greens draft GE moratorium bill

The Green Party has today submitted draft legislation to Parliament seeking to prevent new approvals of genetic engineering field trials, pending the outcome of an official Royal Commission of Inquiry into the technology.

"Recent Government statements make it clear that the Government is not going to introduce any real genetic engineering moratorium despite huge public concern about these trials," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"This is like holding a commission of inquiry into the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear warships, while still welcoming them into the country."

The bill, which goes into the members' ballot today, will suspend some provisions of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act until the Government tables its response to the commission's findings in Parliament.

"While I am unhappy about the lack of a proper moratorium, I do however welcome the Royal Commission which I first mooted in 1998. I am delighted that after only four months in Parliament, co-operation with Labour ministers has allowed the Greens to achieve much more in respect to genetic engineering than was possible during the whole term of the last government.

"But because the commission will provide New Zealand's first official analysis of the risks of genetic engineering to health, the environment and our economy, it is ridiculous to extend the number of field trials during the commission's term."

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661 or 025 586 068 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289


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