Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Further Work Required On GM Liability Issues

Tuesday, 16 July 2002

Further Work Required On GM Liability Issues

The government will seek further advice on liability issues concerning genetic modification to supplement a report from the Law Commission.

The government asked the Law Commission in February 2002 to report on liability regimes for losses resulting from the development, supply or use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The request was in response to the report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, which said there was no immediate need to change current law but suggested the government refer the liability issues to the Law Commission for more intensive study.

In May the government received a paper in response from the Law Commission but returned it with a request for further information. Research, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson yesterday met Law Commission President Justice Bruce Robertson, recently returned from overseas, to discuss the paper.

“Justice Robertson has advised me that the commission is unable to expand its report as the government has requested,” Mr Hodgson said. “Given that decision, the government is releasing the report in its current form. On the further questions raised with the commission we will be seeking answers from officials and any other appropriate sources.

“The report concludes that no further progress can be made on the liability issue until the government decides on the extent to which GMOs are different, the extent to which people and companies involved with GM should be held directly accountable, and the extent to which the government should act as guarantor of any damage caused by GM. The Law Commission is firmly of the view that these decisions involve ethical and spiritual questions that are beyond its mandate.

“The report’s discussion of the shortcomings and possible perverse outcomes of a strict liability regime is informative. However the commission has not gone on to explore the relationship between the liability regime and the regulatory regime and look at whether strict liability has a role — in relation to conditional releases of GMOs, for example, if conditional releases proceed.

“As with releases of other new organisms to the New Zealand environment, the possible adverse effects from GMO releases range from trivial to catastrophic. That is why it is important to clarify liability issues. It is even more important, however, to assess and manage the risks of release cautiously in the first place. That is why we have the most precautionary, transparent and participatory regulatory regime in the world for the management of new organisms.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news