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Liability Issues Welcomed

Liability Issues Welcomed, Public Interest Must Be Fully Served

News that the Law Commission is soon to review liability in regard to GE organisms has been reservedly welcomed by GE Free New Zealand in Food and Environment.

"We are hopeful that this independent body will carefully review the issues of liability, and ensure that the interests of the public and others who may be negatively impacted by releases of GE trials into the environment are paramount," said a spokesperson for GE Free New Zealand. " At present we have a farcical situation where a huge proportion of the public are against field trials, yet our democratically elected government continues to use our taxes to support these controversial experiments with no accountability should an accident arise. This is unacceptable."

Recent reports from both the Royal Society, UK, English Nature and the USDA have indicated concerns to both public health and the environment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that more rigorous review of the potential environmental effects of new transgenic plants is required before approving them for commercial use, whilst the Royal Society wants safety tests for GE foods to be improved as well as further tests on inhalant of GE pollens, and a requirement for more controls introduced to prevent environmental damage is outlined by English Nature.

"The Royal Society concerns about GE pollens are a real issue, the containment of pollen from GE pine trees about to be planted by government funded Forest Research Institute cannot be guaranteed, as a result there exist potential risks from accidental pollen release include increased antibiotic (ampicillin ) resistance and genetic pollution. How can this be seen to be of benefit to New Zealanders?"

The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) the global certification body for sustainable forests prohibits the use of GE trees due to the serious ecological risks.

More information Susie Lees 03 546 7966

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