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Documents Contradict Clark And Hobbs

13 July 2002

"Nowhere in the hundreds of pages released late Friday on the GM contaminated corn scare do scientists or officials conclude there was 'no contamination'," says National Environment Spokesperson Dr Nick Smith.

"Helen Clark and Marian Hobbs are deliberately misleading the public in saying categorically there was no contamination. After all the testing had been concluded in December 2000, Cabinet and officials were still referring to the incident as a contamination.

"Marian Hobbs was wrong when she said this week that if there was any doubt the crops would have been pulled out. With four positive tests there clearly was doubt. She and the Prime Minister cannot rewrite history and pretend there was no doubt when the papers say the opposite.

"On Wednesday both Helen Clark and Marian Hobbs stated there was "no contamination". On Friday night the head of the Environment Risk Management Authority Dr Bas Walker said, "at no stage have we said categorically there was no contamination".

"National does not share the Green Party's paranoia about gene technology. However, it is plain from these papers and the number of untested shipments of seed that while the moratorium has been underway, genetically modified organisms have been released into New Zealand's environment without proper assessment.

"The GM debate does not need the Greens paranoia or Labour's dishonesty. National's policy is to have all decisions referred to the independent Environment Risk Management Authority as should have happened in this case," Dr Smith said.


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