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When GE Goes Bad

09 July 2002

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is challenging the Government to put their money where their mouth is and accept liability for any "accidents" involving GE released into the environment.

"The Government has said over and over that we have the safest regulatory regime in the world. Let's see them show their total confidence in it by guaranteeing compensation for any farmers or consumers who suffer because of a GE release going wrong.

"Liability is one of the major issues in the GE debate, and it has to be sorted out before release goes ahead. GE is one of the three biggies that the insurance industry won't touch, along with war and nuclear accidents."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Government's refusal to release a Law Commission report on GE liability was just fostering public mistrust.

"Surely if the report does not advance the debate very far, the public can see that for themselves. By suppressing the report, the obvious conclusion is that the Government has something to hide.

"If that's not the case, then let's see the report. Hushing it up is not the way to encourage open and honest debate on GE."

Ms Fitzsimons called on the Minister for Science, Research and Technology, Pete Hodgson, to release both the report and the questions that the Government has sent back to the Law Commission.

"The Government must also take some responsibility for the apparent inadequacy of the report. The deadlines for the whole GE research programme are far too tight, because the Government is determined to rush it all through before the moratorium is lifted."

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