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."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news