Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Conservative insurance approach not unusual

26 September 2003 Media Statement

Conservative insurance approach not unusual

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says the attitude taken by an insurance company over genetic modification is unsurprising as it reflects the relative "newness" of the technology in New Zealand.

"Insurance is based on past history," Marian Hobbs said. "There is no past history in New Zealand and limited information elsewhere in the world for GMOs. Therefore it is not unusual for the insurance industry to be conservative in offering insurance cover on an innovation where they have no information about what sort of financial exposure they might have. This is not a condemnation of GM but simply a reflection of the relatively new status of the technology."

Marian Hobbs said the new extended liability rules contained in the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill have been designed to strengthen incentives to comply with the HSNO Act.

"This applies whether the new organism is genetically modified or not," Marian Hobbs said.

"Anyone who causes injury to any other person, or damage to property through their use of a genetically modified organism can still be held liable for that damage, whether or not they are insured. If people are harmed by a GMO, they can bring legal action for compensation under normal common law rules. In addition, the new strict civil liability rule enables individuals to seek compensation for harm caused by activities involving new organisms that breach the HSNO Act without needing to prove negligence."

Marian Hobbs said she has been advised that some insurance companies may provide insurance cover for GM activities, but they may be reviewing their policies.

"The expert independent regulatory authority - ERMA is required by law to assess all possible adverse effects of the release or conditional release of GMOs on human health and the environment on a case-by-case basis," Marian Hobbs said.

"Their assessment will include, for example, the impacts of a GM vaccine, which is or contains a living bacteria or virus, and the potential for that bacteria or virus when excreted by the animal to have adverse effects on the soil.

"If there is any possibility of significant adverse effects on the environment or human health then ERMA will not approve the application for release or will impose strict controls on the conditional release."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election