Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


NZ Must Act On Genetically Engineered Babies

6 May 2001

New Zealand Must Act On Genetically Engineered Babies

News that 15 genetically engineered babies have already been born in the US showed that gene technology is fast getting out of control and the New Zealand parliament must act quickly to limit its use here, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

American scientists have confirmed that 15 babies - the oldest now four years old - have been born after a process of 'germ line therapy' in which genetic material is altered to allow infertile women have babies.

"What people are starting to realise is that the most powerful technolgy the world has ever seen is now already out of control and ethical boundaries never foreseen or considered are being pushed beyond the limits," said Ms Kedgley.

"I call on the New Zealand Government to act quickly on this and ban the practice of genetically engineering human beings by fast-tracking consideration of the Human Assisted Reproduction Bill which has been referred to the Health Select Committee," she said.

Ms Kedgley said it was important that people understood these babies with engineered genetic structure would pass these alterations on to any offspring they might have.

"The germ line therapy used here allows the permanent alteration of the human genetic code and this puts humanity on the slipperyest of slopes.

"Following this announcement, and the willingness of some scientists to start experimenting with human cloning, there is no reason for people to doubt that our greatest fears - such as the creation of designer babies or a genetically engineered 'master race' - are now well out of the realm of science fiction."

Ms Kedgley said the creation of these babies raised serious ethical and religious issues which had not been properly aired or discussed here.

"New Zealand needs to follow the lead of Australia, Germany and Switzerland in banning the use of this germ line therapy. If we do not and instead stand back and allow the permanent alteration of the human genetic code then our future may exceed our wildest fears," she said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news