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Changes To Reduce Scientists’ Compliance Costs

3 January 2002 Media Statement

HSNO Changes To Reduce Scientists’ Compliance Costs

The first step to streamline the regulations for low risk genetic modification work has been announced by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs. The revision will result in significant time and money savings for scientists.

The changes simplify the approval process under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act for low risk work and will reduce the time between an application being submitted and a decision being made.

"Scientists and students will be able to spend more time on their research and less time filling in forms," Marian Hobbs said. " The Government is moving quickly to implement changes, recommended by the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, to streamline approval procedures for low risk GM research."

A draft of the new regulations will be available for interested groups to review on the Environmental Risk Management Authority website: http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/

Marian Hobbs said the changes would not alter the scope of work permitted under the low risk regulations, or change the level of risk permissible.

"But the organisms and the research will be described more simply, and place the emphasis on the risks surrounding the procedures, rather than on the specific organisms used," she said. "The changes will improve efficiency and compliance and help stimulate enterprise and innovation."

(The low risk regulations do not cover the field-testing in containment, or release, of genetically modified organisms.)


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