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Bioethics Council public dialogue valuable

Bioethics Council public dialogue valuable

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has received Toi te Taiao: the Bioethics Council's first major report – the Use of Human Genes in Other Organisms at a ceremony at Parliament this evening.

The council found broad public support for transferring human genes to other organisms where lives could be saved or human suffering reduced or prevented.

The Bioethics Council, an independent advisory board, was one of the recommendations from the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, Marian Hobbs said.

"It was to address the big picture issues where new forms of technology pose societal questions when society has not teased the issue out," Marian Hobbs added. "Dialogue between science and society is crucial to the health of both.

" As the human genes dialogue project has clearly demonstrated, New Zealanders want to ensure their values, questions and concerns are heard and considered by decision makers.

"Too often people end up talking past each other. This is why the dialogue conducted by the Bioethics Council is so important and why I am excited by its potential for providing a space in which people can begin to listen and explore their own and others' values and worldviews."

The minister will consult her cabinet colleagues on the report's recommendations and said it would be a valuable tool in informing the Environmental Risk Management Authority and herself when applications dealing with such issues arise.

Marian Hobbs congratulated and thanked council members for their work.

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