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Anti-Science Attitude `Very Dangerous' Warns Moore

A warning that anti-science, anti-intellectual and paranoiac attitudes had hijacked the biotechnology debate, and a call for scientists to "get back on the front page" in the debate came from World Trade Organisation Director-General Mike Moore when accepting an honorary doctorate at Lincoln University this afternoon (Tues.15.8).

In a free society such attitudes were "very dangerous", said Mr Moore.

"It staggers me that hysterical pressure groups have taken control of this debate."

Through biotechnology society had the means to feed people, alleviate suffering and lift living standards, he said.

"However I must repeat, repeat and then underline, that good practices, safeguards and standards need to apply to research, and we need global guidelines because science is moving faster than our ethical, legal and moral capacity to cope.

"Surprisingly the activists opposed to bio-foods are not protesting the use of biotechnology in medicine, where new developments hold the promise of saving millions of people from AIDS, colon and breast cancer.

"Ethically there is no justification for using biotechnology to help the sick but not the hungry."

The honorary Doctor of Commerce degree presented to Mr Moore by Lincoln was the first such award he has accepted from a New Zealand university. It was conferred in a campus ceremony by the University's Chancellor, the Hon. Margaret Austin.

Ends

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Ian Collins, Journalist, Lincoln University, Canterbury
Tel: (03) 3252811 ext 8549. Email: collinsilincoln.ac.nz


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