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

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages