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Govt Must Now Show Genuine Support For GM

Govt Must Now Show Genuine Support For GM

Tuesday 30 Oct 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

ACT Environment Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff welcomed the decision to allow GM field trials and is calling on the Government and Government agencies to now show some leadership and educate the public on the issue.

"Let's be clear, the Government has shown no leadership on this issue. This has been a decision reached through months of mass indecision. But now that the Government has come out on the side of science it needs to demonstrate that it is genuinely supportive and to make sure that the agencies - particularly ERMA - now show support and educate the public on the issue.

"I believe once the public is aware of what GM can do in such a wide range of areas then they will be supportive.

"So much of the mistrust of GM has been caused through a lack of information available to the public. The Greens have filled the void with hysterical misinformation.

"The Government in the end has realised that it cannot stand in the way of science and progress. Years ago we had the option of banning the motor vehicle - but instead we decided to allow the motor vehicle provided somebody walked in front of it with a flag. Now we have motorways.

"The decision today allows scientists to proceed, but with somebody waving the flag in front of them.

"The Greens will probably portray the two year moratorium on release of GM products to be a victory - however, nobody will be ready to release anything in the next two years anyway. How can that be a victory? The Greens have been completely cleaned out on this issue. The Greens have now compromised on their cornerstone policy of no field trials.

"The Government despite its dithering and never getting to grips with the decision has accepted the inevitable. Now I look forward to see our scientists and industries getting to grips with the challenges ahead of them and demonstrating to New Zealand just what we can achieve," Gerry Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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