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Minister Becomes Baby-Maker

Green party Co-Leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons has warned of the considerable dangers contained in late additions to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill.

"We agree with Government that cloning technologies - like cloning, transplanting animal tissues into humans and genetically engineering human babies - must not be left unregulated," Ms Fitzsimons said today.

"But that is not what this bill does, instead it allows the Minister of Health, with no public consultation or hearings, to allow the genetic engineering of human babies.

"If you want to put a plant gene into another plant or animal, or a human gene into an animal, you have got to go through a long process of public hearings and scientific cross-examination to test whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

"Yet the Government's latest amendment allows the same thing to be done to a human being with no public process, no notification, no submissions, no hearings and no opportunity to test the scientific evidence.

"Instead, we are supposed to trust the Minister of Health with the authority to approve the manufacture of designer babies.

"Genetically modified human beings pass on their GM genes to all future generations. A minister, with no public consultation or input, should not be allowed to make a life or death decision for the future of the human race."


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