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Government under attack on GE moratorium expiry

16 May 2002

The Government narrowly missed being defeated in Parliament today on its determination to lift the moratorium next year, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"Only the votes of New Zealand First and the Alliance enabled the Government to get Part One of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Amendment) Bill passed this afternoon," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Part One sets the expiry date for the moratorium. The Green Party voted against this Part, because there's no way we can support the moratorium on release of genetically engineered organisms being lifted next year.

"If this Part had been defeated, then the Government's intention to allow GE release to go ahead next year would have been in turmoil."

Ms Fitzsimons said she was disappointed that the Alliance had voted with the rest of the Government to get Part One through.

"Phillida Bunkle did put up a very good amendment, backed by the Greens, to try and change Part One so that the moratorium would stay in place past October 2003.

"But the Labour Party voted down that amendment. Once the amendment was lost, the Alliance lost their bottle and voted with the Labour Party to get Part One through in the form the Government wanted."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Government is determined to see GE crops and animals released into the environment in their next term of Government.

"The Green Party will do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen."

ENDS

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