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About the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification

About the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification

The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification was established in May 2000 to report to the government on the options available to New Zealand to deal with genetic modification and to advise on appropriate changes to the relevant laws and policies.

Its members were Sir Thomas Eichelbaum (Chair), Dr Jacqueline Allan, Dr Jean Fleming and the Rt Rev Richard Randerson.

In the formal part of its consultation it heard from approximately 400 witnesses and other interested people in more than three months of formal hearings resulting in close to 5,000 pages of transcripts. The people who gave evidence during those hearings included representatives from research institutions and the biotechnology industry, New Zealand's primary production sector, the organics industry, church and religious groups, Maori organisations, the health and food sectors and environmental groups.

As well, more than 10,000 members of the public provided written submissions and, in the course of its 14-month inquiry, the Royal Commission consulted widely with the New Zealand public, holding 50 public meetings, hui and workshops in regional centres from Invercargill in the south to Kaikohe in the north.

There was also a three-day national hui at Turangawaewae marae in Ngaruawahia and special youth forum in Wellington.

The Commissioners considered all the material submitted to them and produced a four-volume report, including 49 recommendations that have provided the basis for the government's decision making on how New Zealand should proceed in managing genetic modification.

The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification report is available online at:

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