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Groundswell Misunderstands New Legislation

“It’s indicative of the lack of knowledge about genetic engineering that Canterbury anti-GE organisation Groundswell sees the HSNO Amendment Bill as a licence for eugenics,” the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston said today.

“There is nothing in the new legislation which increases the chance of scientists genetically engineering human beings. In fact, the result of the legislation will be much tighter controls on what scientists can do.

“Groundswell is tilting at windmills and fear-mongering with its outlandish claims. The New Zealand public is asking for information on these issues, not hysteria.

“Gene technology has much potential to offer a better quality of life for those people who suffer from disorders which can be linked to a genetic cause. Therefore, to say that this technology will then lead to scientists creating a master race is nonsense.

“All gene technology research involving humans, animals and plants is rigorously examined by Human and Animal Ethics Committees, the Gene Technology Advisory Committee and the Environmental Risk Management Authority, before it’s allowed to proceed.

“Groundswell should seek to contribute facts to the public debate about important issues like xenotransplantation, gene technology and cloning rather than hysterical emotion,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

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