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Churches To Scrutinize Genetic Engineering

A coalition of New Zealand churches is gearing up their response to the GE debate with the appointment of an Interchurch Commission on Genetic Engineering.

The Commission brings together a group of highly respected medical, scientific, ethical and theological experts from the Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Its key tasks are to prepare a submission to the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification and to help church members engage in the public debate on genetic modification.

Commission spokesperson Dr. Audrey Jarvis said the submission would focus primarily on ethical considerations and the distinctive contribution the Christian traditions make to the public debate.

"Ethical issues church members are keen to debate include whether advances in genetic technology will benefit people world-wide, the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand and the spiritual implications of the decisions to made in the area of genetic manipulation" Dr. Jarvis said.

To further raise public awareness the churches are holding a one-day forum "Will the Enz Justify the Genes - Creating dialogue on the ethics of Genetic Engineering" in Wellington on 25 August. Information about the forum is available on the Capital City Forum website www.pq.godzone.net.nz/ccf/

Contacts:

Interchurch Commission:

Dr. Audrey Jarvis, 06 357 3089 or 025 875 395 Rev Greg Hughson, 03 479 8497

Capital City Forum:

Stephanie McIntyre, 04 384 6240 or 025 248 5018 Richard Davis, 04 381 8295

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