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Greenpeace Misleads Again

Greenpeace Misleads Again

Greenpeace has shown again today why the science community is right in accusing it of misleading and misinforming the public, the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston said this afternoon from Singapore.

In the organisation’s Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister they state “…common ground has been established between research, economic and environmental imperatives…That common ground is a GE-free environment and food chain. Genetic engineering must stay in a contained laboratory. This 'keep it in the lab' position is not inconsistent with the Royal Commission of Inquiry's report…”

“This is a serious misrepresentation,” said Dr Rolleston, “as any careful reading of the Royal Commission’s report will disclose.

“What the Royal Commission said in Chapter 13 was: “…At one extreme New Zealand could become free of all genetically modified material, with genetically modified products either in use or able to be brought into the country. We regard this option as impractical in light of all the evidence…Some submitters called for New Zealand to be 100% organic. In our opinion this subset of a “genetic modification free New Zealand” is not economically viable…”

“The Commission supports the continuation of genetic modification within the regulatory framework…as a part of New Zealand overall research programme…”

“New Zealand imports a great variety of processed foods, many of which contain genetically modified components. It is not realistic, and would compromise freedom of consumer choice, for such foods to be banned…”

“The Commission concluded that genetic modification has a role in the development of food crops, forest trees, flowers and garden plants, subject to a range of controls designed to allow New Zealand to develop a mixed strategy of production systems. We also see that benefits might be derived from the use of genetic modification in other field uses such as pest control, bioremediation, and bioreactors. However, we have adopted a careful approach, which requires each application for a genetically modified crop or field use to be treated on a case by case basis...”

“Rather than being consistent with the Royal Commission’s report the public position advocated by Greenpeace, the Green Party and the organic sector is a misguided attempt to hoodwink the public by re-hashing evidence and arguments the Royal Commission has already considered – and rejected,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

For further information, contact:

Dr William Rolleston Francis Wevers

Chairman Executive Director

Phone 03 612 6688

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