Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Moratorium poses unnecessary risks to NZ science

Moratorium on GM field trials poses unnecessary risks to New Zealand science

The decision of the Cabinet to seek a moratorium on field trials during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Engineering puts the scientific base of New Zealand’s economic wealth at risk according to the New Zealand Life Sciences Network.

The Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, described the Cabinet’s decision as a political cop out.

“The Labour Party was elected on a policy platform including a moratorium which was limited to commercial release. When the Government announced it was considering the possibility of a moratorium during the Royal Commission the scientific community and industry, through the Life Sciences Network, offered a voluntary moratorium on commercial release so the country could avoid the necessity for a legislated moratorium.

“For political reasons, which ignore the risks to science and the long term benefit of the economy, the Cabinet has decided to negotiate a voluntary moratorium on field trials.

“The New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc) will represent the interests of its members (which are synonymous with those of the country) and seek to get an agreement which allows science to proceed; the public to be assured about the safety of the research being undertaken; and the Royal Commission to complete its deliberations in an environment where scientists and the research community can participate without one hand being tied behind their backs.

“The Royal Commission’s task is to examine the full range of issues surrounding biotechnology, life sciences, and genetic modification. A moratorium which stops science proceeding would predetermine some of the key questions the Royal Commission must answer.

“We have confidence in the existing regulatory process managed by the Environmental Risk Management Authority and therefore believe the moratorium is an unnecessary extra hurdle.

“We will endeavour to persuade Ministers with responsibility for science and the environment to adopt a rational approach to the proposed voluntary moratorium. The biotechnology sector needs an assurance that decades of research will not be dissipated. Should we fail to get that assurance the future for New Zealand’s agriculture and economy looks pretty bleak,” said Dr Rolleston.

For further information

Dr William Rolleston
Interim Chairman
New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc)
Ph (03) 6126688


Francis Wevers
Executive Director
New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc)
Ph (04) 9160100
(021) 916010

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>


Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>


Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>


PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>





Featured InfoPages