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Hazardous Substances And New Organisms

Hazardous Substances And New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill

The Finance and Expenditure Committee is inviting public submissions on the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill. The closing date for submissions is 1 February 2002.

The amendments made by the bill will allow time to put in place research programmes and further amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, establish a Bioethics Council, and undertake other relevant work on issues in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification.

The bill will restrict, for a period of two years, the consideration and approval by the Environmental Risk Management Authority of applications to release genetically modified organisms into the environment. The amendments will apply to applications to import for release, or to release from containment, genetically modified organisms. Applications to release genetically modified organisms that provide direct medical benefits to human and animal health will be exempt from the constraint period. These applications will be required to provide information showing that the organism cannot persist viably in the physical environment beyond the target organism. In considering the applications the Environmental Risk Management Authority will be required to take into account the safety, ecological effects and relative efficacy of genetically modified organisms.

The bill will also require explicit, ongoing controls for all contained field testing of genetically modified organisms. All changes in the bill will be effective from 29 October 2001.

Copies of the bill can be purchased from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

The committee requires 25 copies of each submission. Those wishing to include any information of a private or personal nature in a submission should first discuss this with the clerk of the committee, as submissions are usually released to the public by the committee. Those wishing to appear before the committee to speak to their submissions should state this clearly and provide a daytime telephone contact number. For further guidance on making a submission, our publication Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee can be found on our web site at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz.

Submissions should be addressed as follows:

Julian Kersey
Finance and Expenditure Committee Secretariat
Parliament House
WELLINGTON

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