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Liability report fair and logical - Greens

18 October 2001

Liability report fair and logical - Greens

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today welcomed a new report on who should pay if GE experiments or plantings go wrong, saying it was based on sound logic and fairness.

The report 'Who bears the risk? Genetic Modification and Liability' by Chen Palmer & Partners and Simon Terry Assoc, found that the companies who make the profits from GE should also pay if things go wrong.

"This report combines common sense and a sophisticated analysis of the legal issues around liability, and moves the debate forward considerably," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Ms Fitzsimons said the Green Party had not changed its position that New Zealand should be GE-Free outside the laboratory, which was the only future in which liability would be a minor issue and would be confined to escapes from laboratories.

"An organic farmer could potentially have their livelihood ruined by GE contamination. Unless the kind of strict liability and insurance regime recommended in this report was in place, they would have no comeback.

"The same would go if any GE foods or vaccines made people ill.

"The only way to get biotech companies to take the precautionary principle seriously, is to bring the risk home to their pockets. There is no way that innocent people who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time should pay for the mistakes of the proponents of GE."

ENDS

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