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Greens disappointed at Alliance's GE position

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today she was disappointed that the Alliance now considered the Green Party's wish for a full moratorium on genetically engineered field trials to be 'extreme'.

The Alliance yesterday said it had dropped its push for a full moratorium on genetic engineering field trials while the Royal Commission into genetic engineering deliberates. Associate Environment Minister Phillida Bunkle is also reported as saying the Greens are now advocating a full moratorium for political ends.

Ms Fitzsimons said she was surprised at the shift in position from the Alliance, especially since Phillida Bunkle has had private members bills in parliament calling for a moratorium. Ms Fitzsimons said she was also concerned at how pursuing an election promise could be construed as political point-scoring.

"The Greens like to think that in an MMP environment it is healthy and normal for coalition partners to have points and issues of difference, and to be able to voice them in public," said Ms Fitzsimons. "To be able to do this preserves the independence and the principles of all parties involved.

"Either the Alliance now feel unable to do this or the Alliance have genuinely changed their mind on what was an election platform," she said.

"Either way the Greens are saddened that we are now the only party in Parliament that believe a hold should be placed on new genetic engineering experiments while the Royal Commission deliberates.

"We feel that to approve further experiments while the inquiry examines the risks and ethics of genetic engineering seriously undermines the inquiry," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"I will continue to put my moratorium bill in the ballot for Members' Bills while the Royal Commission is sitting."

Ends

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