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Progressives realistic and rational on GE

8 October 2003

Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Progressives realistic and rational on GE

The Progressive Party moved to bring a rational, pragmatic view into the GE debate late last night, with a Supplementary Order Paper to effectively allow the extension of the moratorium on GM in food products until they are proven safe.

"New Zealanders' key concern about Genetic Modification is related to whether GM should be allowed in our food. They do not, in general however, want a moratorium with a time limit plucked out of thin air or based on belief rather than fact.

"Progressives want a factually based decision to be made on GM. I moved a Supplementary Order Paper in the House late last night to which effectively would continue the moratorium on GM products until proven safe, and make the best decision for New Zealanders and our economic development. A vote in Parliament would have had to be taken to remove the moratorium, a decision to be based on the evidence, rather than belief, of whether the product was 'safe'.

"There has been enough misinformation, fear campaigning and lobbying going on from all sides of the spectrum on this issue. New Zealanders are innately sensible, forward looking people and the Progressives SOP is the only one which is solely based on the safety of New Zealanders and the best interests of the New Zealand economy.

"The Progressives also moved an amendment to add the protection of New Zealand's economic interests to the criteria under which the Minister can deem new organisms prohibited for release," said Matt Robson MP.

SOP attached was voted down.

House of Representatives
Supplementary Order Paper
Tuesday, 7 October 2003
New Organisms and Other Matters Bill

Proposed amendments

Hon Matt Robson, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 17
To insert, after section 38(3A) (after line 20 on page 14), the following subsection:

Section 38(b) of the principal Act is amended by inserting a subsection Section 38 (b)(iv) “The organism is genetically modified and is likely to directly or indirectly enter the human food chain.”

Clause 18
To insert, after section 38A(4) (after line 13 on page 15), the following subsection:

“(5) No application for a conditional release of a genetically modified organism which is likely to directly or indirectly enter the human food chain, may be determined by the Authority.”

Clause 27
To replace section 2(b) (line 35 on page 35), with the following subsection:

“add a new organism, or group or groups of organism, that have adverse effects on the health and safety of people or the environment, or are likely to harm New Zealand’s economic interests.”

Explanatory note

This supplementary Order Paper amends the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill.

Clause 17 and 18
The purpose of the amendments is to prohibit ERMA from considering any genetically modified organisms likely to directly or indirectly enter the food chain for release, or conditional release. This will remain in place until repealed by Parliament.

Clause 27(2b)
The purpose of this amendment is to extend the circumstances in which the Minister can list new organisms under Schedule Two of the Act to include organisms likely to harm New Zealand’s economic interests.

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