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Corngate inquiry will clear the air

Corngate inquiry will clear the air

The events surrounding Corngate will at last be thrashed out in the open following today's confirmation of a select committee inquiry into the incident, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Ms Fitzsimons is pleased that the Local Government and Environment select committee has agreed to her proposal to hold an inquiry into the alleged accidental release of GE sweet corn plants in 2000. She is the chair of the committee.

"The country was in the middle of an election campaign when Nicky Hager's book came out, and the climate was probably too heated for a serious, rational look at the facts.

"This inquiry will set the facts straight for the public, as well as for MPs. Two of the main focuses will be whether tests indicated there was GE contamination or not, and how officials and the Government coped with the events.

"Hopefully we will identify some strong lessons on how to (and how not to) deal with similar situations in the future."

Ms Fitzsimons said her proposal for a select committee inquiry was endorsed by the Prime Minister's statement on 11 July 2002 that 'I'm happy for a select committee to have every file and interrogate every official because I believe a policy of total disclosure is warranted'."

"That's exactly what the select committee will be doing to find out the truth behind the confusion. This is an unfinished chapter in New Zealand's history which deserves to be settled."

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