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GM Moratorium Debacle Labour's Own Making

23 May 2002

Labour created a rod for its own back by agreeing to a GM moratorium against the advice of the Royal Commission. It walked away from a science-based decision last year by imposing the moratorium and now it's surprised that the Greens want it extended, says National's Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

"Moratoriums and freezes are easy to put in place and difficult to remove, whether on genetic modification or aquaculture. They solve nothing, but create huge problems and tensions downstream.

"Labour cynically imposed a GM moratorium to buy time after the next election when it should have stood firmly on the Royal Commission's report. Having sold out on science once, it should not be surprised that the Greens want the same again.

"The Prime Minister is right in saying the moratorium must be lifted, but why not now? There are no substantial changes in the regulatory environment between now and October next year. The only reason for this moratorium is politics and the upcoming election," says Dr Smith.

Ends

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