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Greens: Loose With The Truth

There will be no release of genetically modified material into the New Zealand environment when the moratorium on GM applications ends on October 29, 2003, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today. Green Party advertising claims to the contrary were untrue.

"A painstaking process must be followed after the moratorium," Marian Hobbs said. "Before GM material is released into our environment all applications will first have to be considered by the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

"Nothing can happen until ERMA has considered each application carefully. This includes a public submission process. Stringent minimum standards to protect the environment must be met and the positive effects of the organism would have to outweigh any adverse effects.

"Food would also require approval by the Australia New Zealand Food Authority and this wouldn't be granted until the food has been tested and found safe."

Marian Hobbs said the Greens were being irresponsible and misleading by turning something complex into a simple yes or no for some hoped-for political advantage.

"To be rational is to be responsible in caring for our future," Marian Hobbs said.

"In consultation with the Greens we established a Royal Commission which conducted the most wide-ranging inquiry into genetic modification of any country. The commission produced a thorough and balanced report.

"We acted on the Royal Commission's recommendations and made the health and safety of New Zealanders paramount in deciding to adopt a precautionary approach. That approach has been carried through in the Act that's just been passed by Parliament.

"The Greens are being loose with the truth and playing politics with a complex issue. That is irresponsible and brings into question their political credibility."

Ends

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