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HSNO Amendment Bill - What's In, What's Not?

28 March 2002

What's in:

* The moratorium on commercial release of genetically engineered organisms will be automatically lifted in October 2003 (no change from original bill).

* The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) will have to consider the risks of horizontal gene transfer - a process by which bacteria can transfer genetic material into other organisms - for each new field trial application (a new Green Party clause).

* Inspection and monitoring of field trial sites will be mandatory (a new Green Party clause).

* Outdoor development trials will be treated the same way as field trials (a new Green Party clause, originally development trials were not included in the bill).

What's not:

* The new Agresearch application to make GE cows with any human, sheep, goat, cattle or mice genes has been excluded from the new conditions on outdoor development trials. This application will be assessed by ERMA under the old rules in May.

* The Government has backed off its promise that "all material involved" in a field trial, which would include soil, must be able to be removed. This was proposed by the Royal Commission and was part of the Government's policy announcement but has now been totally dropped.


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