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Ibac Welcomes Commission On Genetic Modification

The Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council (IBAC) welcomes the Government's initiative to establish a Commission of enquiry on genetic modification.

The Council, which met with the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, this week, says the move to establish a Commission is an important part of the process for generating broader public awareness of the implications of geentic modification and providing ind epth consideration of the role of this technology in New Zealand's future.

"We see the Commission as complementing our objectives which are to generate awareness and consideration of issues relating to biotechnology."

IBAC cautioned against the Commission considering genetic modification as a single issue, and urged it be looked at as a range of technologies with multi-faceted uses in agriculture, medical and environmental areas and one which attracts a wide range of concerns including safety, regulatory processes, ethical and cultural issues.

IBAC earlier this month released a discussion paper on the economic implications of a first release of genetically modified organisms in New Zealand. The paper is available from the IBAC website (www.ibac.org.nz), or from PO Box 530, Wellington. Submissions on the paper close on March 3.

IBAC, which comprises 10 eminent scientists and prominent citizens from a wide range of disciplines, was established by Government in May last year.

ENDS....

For mor information, contact

Professor Peter Gluckman (Convenor) 09 373 7521

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