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Baldock welcomes GM announcement

Baldock welcomes GM announcement

United Future environment spokesman Larry Baldock today welcomed the Government announcement that it will be proposing a series of amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.

The proposed changes are in line with the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification recommendations, and are designed to streamline the decision-making process for contained laboratory research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and to tighten the law relating to the regeneration of animals from tissue and to the modification of human cell lines.

"There has been a huge amount of work on this issue beginning with the Royal Commission and the further consultation undertaken by the Government last year when it released the discussion paper," Mr Baldock said.

"New Zealand must make progress on the issue to enable scientific research to continue. There are huge benefits to be gained in medical research that the sufferers of many conditions are hoping for, and there are also agricultural and biotechnological opportunities.

"United Future has always supported the recommendations of the Royal Commission and has endorsed the cautious approach that it recommended," he said.

The amendments to the Act recommended today are in line with that approach. The new category of conditional release is a further indication of just how carefully and responsibly this issue is being approached.

"The reduction in costs for applicants that will be achieved by the defining of low risk GMOs for use in laboratory research should be welcomed by the business community

"Of course, we will still have to examine the Bill when it is drafted and also listen to the submission as it goes through the select committee process, but we support it in principle at this stage," Mr Baldock said.

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