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Government Moratorium Must Include Field Trials

Preserving Options Means A GE Free Environment

Auckland 7th December 2001. Greenpeace today called for field trials to be included in any moratorium, while supporting the cautious approach outlined by the Prime Minister regarding NZ’s policy on genetic engineering.

“The line must be drawn at the laboratory door. Any release into the environment will lead to contamination. Examples here and overseas show that genetic material cannot be contained in field trials. Therefore it is critical to ensure that the Government position halts all releases into the environment,” said Annette Cotter, Greenpeace campaigner.

In Tasmania, there have been 21 documented breaches of GE field trials (1), and in New Zealand field trials of genetically engineered peas, potatoes, salmon and tamarillos have had containment breaches. (2)

“The Government is responding to the uncertainty and concerns raised by the Royal Commission’s report. In acknowledging that our clean green image cannot be compromised, Ms Clark is assuming a sensible approach to GE,” said Cotter

“Keeping options open by keeping GE in the lab is a pragmatic position to take. Lab based research can continue with our environment being GE free. This is the best of both worlds.”


Contact Annette Cotter 021 565 175, Brendan Lynch 025 790 817

(1)(Australian Federal Government Draft Report, March 2001)
Cited in the Tasmanian Joint Select Committee Report on Gene Technology, July 2001, p. 7
(2) All cases documented in the Royal Commission transcripts


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