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No balance in Commission's membership

Gavan Herlihy
Opposition Agriculture Spokesman

18 April 2000

No balance in Commission's membership

The absence of a person with an agricultural background on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into genetic engineering is a glaring omission, says Opposition agriculture spokesman Gavan Herlihy.

"I call on the Minister of the Environment, Marian Hobbs, to appoint a fifth person to give the Commission balance in terms of the interests represented.

"The future of agriculture has a huge impact on New Zealand. It's imperative that the agriculture perspective is directly represented on the Commission.

"The report of the Royal Commission could decide the future direction of agriculture in New Zealand. The agriculture industry should have the chance to have input into the Inquiry. The Commission must evaluate the opportunities as well as the risks of genetic engineering.

"Some would contend that with a Judge, a lecturer, a reverend and a Maori that the Commission membership is very politically correct. But, without a person who brings an understanding of rural/productive/marketing issues the current Commission is very 'politically incorrect'.

"A balanced Commission membership is vital if we are to ensure an unbiased outcome that looks at opportunity as well as risk," Mr Herlihy said.

Ends

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