GM Cattle Decision Safeguards Environment
The Environmental Risk Management Authority's decision on the application to field test genetically modified cattle was made in accordance with the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs said today.
"Given the strict controls imposed by ERMA and the GM moratorium I am confident that any risks can be managed securely to avoid the release of genetically modified material into the environment from this research," she said.
Although the application was made before the voluntary moratorium was introduced as part of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Genetic Modification, the decision imposes conditions to protect the environment.
"I am very much aware that this research raises ethical and cultural issues and this is something being dealt with by the Royal Commission.The decision-making committee of ERMA toiled hard and long on arguments raised by Ngati Wairere, the Tainui hapu associated with the AgResearch facility at Ruakura. In the end the Committee concluded the benefits of scientific information to be obtained from the research outweighed the negligible risks it posed for the environment and human health and the risks to Ngati Wairere.
"Possible benefits include the application of this research to identifying treatments for multiple sclerosis.
"It is a
difficult issue but as Minister for the Environment I am
satisfied with the processes that have been employed to
ensure that the environment surrounding this research is