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Opposition claims in inquiry "nonsense

Media Statement
2 September 2003

Opposition claims in inquiry "nonsense

Opposition MPs desperate for attention were turning the Local Government and Environment select committee corn inquiry into a huge political beat-up, West Coast-Tasman MP and committee member Damien O'Connor said today.

Mr O'Connor said Nick Smith and Jeanette Fitzsimmons were colluding to create a highly political environment around the inquiry.

"The facts are the passage of the HSNO legislation in 1996 was not followed by the development of adequate regulations to properly test for the potential of unwanted organisms with any imports."

Mr O'Connor said the Gisborne incident highlighted to this Government the inadequacies of the regulations, and discussion at the time revolved around the lack of an international standard.

"The technical evidence supplied to the committee clearly shows that after much testing, there was no confirmed evidence of GE contamination. The scientists concluded there was simply no justification for pulling up the crops.

"Nick Smith's desperate attempt to shift the debate to the timing of memos is because there is simply no claim to answer about government policy to remove material if it was proven to be GE.

"The unholy alliance between Jeanette Fitzsimons and Nick Smith shows the level of desperation by two parties that lack policies of any relevance and acceptance to mainstream New Zealanders. The desperate ongoing campaigning by Jeanette Fitzsimons and Nick Smith is a waste of parliamentary time and money."


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