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British GM trials prove cautious approach right

Media Statement For immediate release Friday, 17 October, 2003

Baldock: British GM trials prove cautious approach right

The results of a four-year British farm GM trials released overnight would indicate that New Zealand's cautious approach is the right one, United Future's Larry Baldock said today.

"As I've said before, even with all the wishful thinking in the world, this technology is not going away, and we're in the process of putting in place an extremely robust and cautious mechanism.

"And while all sides seem to be claiming victory in Britain, it just makes the case-by-case model, with all checks and balances in place, all the more sensible," Mr Baldock, United Future's environment spokesman, said.

"The important lesson to take from the UK Farm Scale Report is that as we continue to analyse the pros and cons of GM technology, we can make good decisions on a case-by-case basis about which crops will be of benefit and which will not.

"This is called science and it's about having less heat and more light on this issue," he said.

"What we can definitely take from the British study is that there can be environmental gains from GE crops and also there are some crops, that after field testing and further trials, may need to be reconsidered before full commercial release is granted.

"With a provision in New Zealand to take into account economic effects and also the new conditional release category granted to ERMA under the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill, this country is well placed to handle any applications.

"These kind of studies and trials will continue for years to come, enabling societies to benefit from some scientific advantages while recognising that some crops or the environment may not benefit from GE technology."


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