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HSNO Amendments Strike The Right Balance

Thursday, 28 March 2002

Amendments to the law governing use of genetically modified organisms strike the right balance between preserving opportunities in biotechnology and assuring public and environmental safety, says Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson said changes made to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill by the Finance and Expenditure Committee had clarified the legislation and would not impose extra compliance costs on researchers.

“The substantial effect of the Bill is to require the Environmental Risk Management Authority to impose conditions on GMO research that it has optionally imposed to date. This remains true following the select committee’s amendments.

“The Government will be making further changes to the law that will cut compliance costs for approval of low-risk research involving GM organisms, often carried out under highly secure conditions in a laboratory. This is the area in which compliance costs have most frustrated researchers and it can be fixed without increasing risk to the public or the environment.”

Ends

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