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Greens At GE Cow Hearing Today

Greens At GE Cow Hearing Today

Tue, 13 Aug 2002

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will speak against Agresearch's wide-ranging application to genetically engineer cows, at the first day of the ERMA hearings in Hamilton today.

The Greens put in one of 856 written submissions opposing the application.

"This application seeks to subvert both the letter and the spirit of the HSNO Act by not describing in any detail any of the countless organisms which could be produced," she said.

"Agresearch is asking for a blanket approval to create potentially thousands of types of new genetically engineered cows, containing genes from either humans, sheep, deer, mice or goats.

"There is absolutely no way that the risks and benefits of these different organisms can be properly weighed up by ERMA, as ERMA is legally obliged to do."

Ms Fitzsimons said putting human genes into large mammals has raised more ethical concerns than any other genetic engineering experiments done in New Zealand so far.

"Applications which raise serious ethical concerns, such as this one, should go first to the Bioethics Council, which is currently being set up in the wake of the Royal Commission.

The Green Party does not believe it is ethical or humane to use cows or other large mammals as factories for pharmaceuticals or industrial chemicals. GE research and production should be kept safely in the laboratory."

A copy of the Green Party's oral and written submissions are available by request from the media office.


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