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Commission A Barrier To Extremism

Release: Association of Crown Research Institutes

Establishment of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification guaranteed extremists on either side of the GM debate would not be able to impose their will on the public, the spokesman for the Association of Crown Research Institutes (ACRI) on GM issues, Dr Ian Warrington, said today.

“We welcome the establishment of the commission because society needs to have all the issues considered dispassionately and evidence for and against reviewed impartially.

“Hopefully the commission’s deliberations will lead to a fuller understanding by New Zealanders of the benefits and risks associated with this new technology

“Society needs to be comfortable with the results of the commission’s work whatever the outcome. Concerns did exist that either those for or those against might have imposed their will on the public and the Royal Commission should ensure that this does not happen.

“It is our view that the Minister for the Environment is to be applauded for wanting the commission to stimulate a broad ranging discussion on genetic modification.
The educational aspects of the commission’s work are a vital component of the brief it has been given.”

Dr Warrington said CRIs involved in GM research activities were acutely conscious of the restrictions on such activities during the period of the commission’s work.

“Our members will be fully co-operative with Government agencies in ensuring that the intent of the government is observed.

“I would, however, have to endorse the view that the limits imposed will cause the termination of some research in which New Zealand is leading the world and that this will no doubt cause some CRI staff to reassess their prospects.”

Ends

For further information:

Dr Ian Warrington
Chief Executive
HortResearch
Tel: (06) 351-7000 or 025-748-759

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