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Greens succeed with substantial change to GE bill

Greens succeed with substantial change to GE bill

The Green Party succeeded in making the only substantial change to the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill in Parliament last night.

The GE regulator ERMA, the Environmental Risk Management Authority, will now have to consider the economic costs of any application to release GE into the environment, not just the economic benefits.

"This is an important step forward," Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

"It has always been assumed that environmental and health effects from the release of GE organisms might perhaps be negative, but that economic benefits would always be positive. We now know from overseas experience that the economic effects of GE release can be very costly.

"It is important ERMA be explicitly instructed to consider likely damage to the economy when it considers applications. We know that costs to the economy are not the same as the financial effects on the person actually releasing the organisms.

"The Green amendment will ensure a more balanced weighing of the economic impacts of GE release, rather than simply a pro-GE economic analysis," Ms Fitzsimons said.

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