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Ministerial Double Standards On GE

4 November 2001

Ministerial Double Standards On Genetic Engineering

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said it was a double standard for the Minister of Racing, Annette King, to ban cloning racehorses for cultural and heritage reasons, while Maori cultural objections to putting human genes in cows and sheep are ignored.

New Zealand and Australian ministers have banned the cloning of racehorses and greyhounds, citing the wishes of punters, and saying it is 'against the spirit of racing and abhorrent to the heritage element of the sport'.

"I would agree that cloning race horses and greyhounds would take the fun out of race meetings but I am astonished that the cultural wishes of a small group in the community who attend race meetings should be listened to, when our Treaty partners and other New Zealanders who are offended by genetically engineered food, and human genes in cows, are not," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"It is interesting that the Ministers made this decision themselves, unlike all other GE decisions in New Zealand which are delegated to ERMA by this hands-off Government.

"It's nice to see Ministers respecting the cultural and heritage wishes of race goers. Will they please extend that respect to the rest of us?"


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