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Economic study paves way for lifting moratorium

Dr Paul Hutchison

National Biotechnology Spokesperson

17th April 2003

GM Economic study paves way for lifting moratorium

Today's release of a report into the economic risks and opportunities from releasing genetically modified organisms in New Zealand must be taken in context, says National's Biotechnology spokesperson Dr Paul Hutchison.

"The report is of limited value in that it takes a small sample of respondents and inherently asks leading questions on GM commodity production, that the normal consumer wouldn't necessarily be aware of.

"The report tries to predict how New Zealand's production may be viewed in 10 years time, without establishing that knowledge on GM will have changed enormously by then.

"When the moratorium comes off in October this year only a very limited number of applications for conditional release are likely, and it may be years, if ever, that our traditional commodities are involved with genetic modification.

"It is sad that the media tend to wheel out Jeanette Fitzsimons and the Greens to comment on GM issues when their credibility was so badly damaged during the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification.

"It is often forgotten that there has never been any adverse effects from GM food, and that conventional foods for years have undergone irradiation and mutagenesis from chemicals.

"The GM study is limited in scope but is consistent with New Zealand taking a step-by-step cautious approach," says Dr Hutchison.


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