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Commission fails on the GE issue

Commission fails on the GE issue

Auckland, Monday 31 July. Greenpeace is very disappointed today by the report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering.

“More and more cases around the world are showing that field trials cannot be contained and GE contamination is inevitable. The Commission has expressed the desire to have GE, conventional, Integrated Pest Management and organic systems together. That is simply not possible,” said Annette Cotter, Greenpeace campaigner.

“The report has also failed to reflect tangata whenua concerns, or strong public sentiment towards a GE free NZ,” said Ms Cotter. Ninety two percent of the 11 000 public submissions to the Commission were opposed to GE in the environment.

“While the Commission has recognised the scientific uncertainties of GE, Greenpeace believes the Commission has failed to adequately apply the precautionary principle which is at the core of the issue. This means that their assessment of GE is fundamentally flawed.

“This may go some way to explaining why, in the body of their report they say that “Little is yet known about the environmental impacts of genetically modified organisms, and in particular in New Zealand ‘on the potential adverse effects, or risks of such effects, on the indigenous biota’” (Ch 6, p 142), yet their recommendations do not fully reflect these concerns.

“The release of GE into the environment is now a political decision, and the Labour Government will have to make that decision with public opinion front of mind,” said Ms Cotter.

Contact: Annette Cotter, Greenpeace NZ. Ph 09 630 6317 or 021 565 175

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