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'Low-Risk' GM Experiments To Be Made Public

Nov 05 2001
Press Release: Ngati Wairere

Ngati Wairere Advocate Ms Chris Webster is calling for 'low-risk' genetic manipulation experiments to be made public.

Ms Webster says AgResearch's original application to place human genes into cows consisted of one page, was described as 'low-risk' by one scientist and then approved by another AgResearch scientist down the hall, before being presented to ERMA.

"Presently GM-experiments described and approved as being of 'low-risk' are neither open to public scrutiny nor can they be publicly challenged.

"We want the genetic manipulation experiments described as 'low-risk' to be made public for two reasons.

"Firstly crown research institutes are using taxpayer funding to carry out genetic manipulation experiments which we as a country have rejected.

"Secondly scientists claim their GM-work is based on professionalism and integrity. If that's the case why then would they not want the public to have confidence in the way they spend our money?

"If you read the ERMA bulletin there are pages of experiments (having being defined as 'low-risk' by scientists and their mates), which have escaped public scrutiny and are not able to be challenged. The current rubber-stamping approval process is too matter-of-fact.

"If the Labour government has any integrity it would repeal the delegated authority provisions which presently allow CRIs to define any GM-experiments as 'low-risk', and limit the discretionary ability of ERMA's chief executive".

"Clearly if this government insists upon the abhorrent and disgusting practice of putting human genes into other species, then let's see how insistent it is on quality law and processes.


Further Comment: Ms Chris Webster, 025 283 8986

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