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Green Party Position On GE No Surprise

“The non-negotiable stance of the Green Party on the lifting of the moratorium on commercial release of GM plants comes as no surprise,” the chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“The Green Party has made it clear, since the Royal Commission on GM, that it would not accept scientific research or evidence as a basis for decision making on this issue.

“The Greens are driven by a fundamentalist belief that genetic engineering is wrong, despite all the evidence of the benefits it can bring to the environment, to our health and to the economy when it’s subject to appropriate controls.

“None of the excellent work done by the Royal Commission has been able to penetrate the fundamentalist convictions of the Green Party and its supporters. That also explains why they ignore the fact that surveys show the substantial majority of New Zealanders are happy to contemplate the further development of GMOs subject to the controls proposed by the Royal Commission.

“What New Zealanders want is for pragmatic, case by case, consideration of each proposal for release of genetically modified plants or animals where the benefits are clear and the risks are well understood. That is why we have the strictest regulatory system in the world.

“There is no place for prejudice against new technology which is at the core of what New Zealand is good at – the development of our biological industries. The clearest evidence of the fundamentalism of the Green Party position was the destruction of the GE research in Canterbury greenhouses last January

“Now voters will be able to see that the Green Party is really a single issue party and that, as a minority party, it is trying to impose its will on the rest of the country. That may be what MMP allows but it is also anti-democratic,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

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