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Greens Could Prompt Illegal GM Release

Greens Could Prompt Illegal GM Release

Wednesday 28 Aug 2002

The announcement of a review of the Environmental Risk Management Authority in conjunction with the Greens could prove disastrous, ACT Biosecurity Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The Green's policy of no GM release outside laboratories clearly means they will apply conditions and costs impossible to comply with. What they fail to understand is that when reasonable applications are turned down or have impossible conditions imposed, illegal releases become the only option for those determined to benefit from this technology.

"The illegal release of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is a case in point. Desperation drove the illegal entry and spreading of RHD which has been very successful, but could have been even better had the opportunity to manage the release presented itself.

ERMA already has a reputation for being extremely thorough and prudent, if under-resourced.

"The review will only be greeted with despair by those seeking the advance of good science.

"We are now in the extraordinary situation for a country such as New Zealand where the wealth-creation component of rural New Zealand is stopping research, and the crown research institutes are contemplating going overseas," Mr Eckhoff said.


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