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Minister Must Call In Unethical GM Cows Experiment

26 March 2002

Genetic engineering experiments on cows being proposed by AgResearch are unethical, and must go before the Bioethics Council.

" The research proposal now being resubmitted to ERMA must be called in by the Minister," said Jon Carapiet for GE-Free NZ ( Food and Environment)
" It is against the Royal Commission recommendation that farm animals not be used when alternative research is available. It must be referred to the council." said Mr Carapiet

GE-Free NZ also reject claims in the media that Maori have approved the proposal, as Maori opposition to GM nationally is well documented.

" The Bioethics Council must be called in now. These experiment are not good medical science. The possible medical benefits are an excuse that takes actually away funds from better research approaches."

There is also concern that it is unethical to allow these experiments to expose New Zealand biosecurity and marketing image to damage, in the light of the contamination of the natural source of maize in central America announced on 18th April.

" Scientists are not able to explain the implications of the GM maize contamination and until there is an international agreement on how this can be stopped from happening elsewhere, it is unethical to allow risks of Horizontal Gene Transfer from these unnecessary animal experiments."

”The Government Ministers but are out of touch. Pete Hodgson responded to a question in Parliament quoting an out-of-date article in a magazine instead they must start listening to other government's scientists".

Legal action has previously delayed similar experiments.
"Even under the current GM bill to allow trials and conditional releases next year could knowingly contaminate and may actually be illegal."said Mr Carapiet.

Ends

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