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Government Plays God Over Diatranz Application

May 22, 2002

A NZ First amendment to enable the Diatranz application for diabetes treatment to follow due process was defeated in the House yesterday during the committee stage of the Hazardous Substances Bill.

The bill establishes an additional obstacle to the present process of approval, namely approval by the Minister, for any process involving xenotransplantation. Applied to the Diatranz application, it is retrospective legislation.

“Our amendment would not have meant the Diatranz trials would have automatically proceeded. It just meant it could have gone through a due process of risk assessment,” said NZ First spokesperson, Brian Donnelly.

“Unfortunately government MPs wanted to play god, believing that they were in a better position than the experts to make these decisions.”

“The illogical aspect of the government is that if the evidence shows the risks are as serious as they believe them to be, the application would never be approved under existing regulations. Therefore why do we need the additional step of Ministerial approval.

The fact the Ministers advisors are the very people who have progressed this legislation rings the death knell for progress of the Diatranz application,” said Brian Donnelly.

ENDS

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