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Green-Friendly Govt Stops Research Progress

The Government's determination to befriend the Greens is preventing New Zealand diabetics from the opportunity of promising diabetes research, National's Biotechnology and Associate Health Spokesperson Dr Paul Hutchison said today.

The Government has stopped research using implants of insulin-producing pig cells going ahead in New Zealand. "Now it has no right to interfere with the trials continuing in the Cook Islands.

"This Government claims to be promoting innovation in New Zealand but has banned this promising diabetes research, even though it has nothing to do with genetic engineering.

"Xenotransplantation research is allowed in the United States. It is quite wrong of the Government to put a blanket moratorium on this sort of research here. Each application should be rigorously assessed and judged on its own merit.

"New Zealand cannot progress as a country if innovative trials like this are forced overseas, allowing other countries to pip us at the post.

"Diabetes patients have a very difficult life managing their food intake and blood sugar levels. They are begging their doctors for the opportunity to be involved in this research because the initial trial showed promising results, meaning they needed far fewer doses of insulin.

"The Minister of Health is wrong to stop research in this area. This type of research should go ahead, provided it stands up to scientific scrutiny," Dr Hutchison said.


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