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Blue Greens On Green Party Ultimatum On GM

Bluegreens is an independent group of New Zealanders advising the National Party on environment and heritage issues.

27 May 2002

The present Labour/Alliance Government has only itself to blame for the Green Party's ultimatum on genetic modification (GM), according to Terry Dunleavy, national convenor of Bluegreens, an independent group that advises the National Party on environment and heritage issues.

"Early in its term, the Government acceded to Green demands for a royal commission on GM. That commission, after an exhaustive study, made a clear recommendation that New Zealand should keep its options open, and expressed its satisfaction with the basic regulatory framework and the key institutions, the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) and the Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA)," said Mr Dunleavy.

"There was no need for a moratorium in the first place. The Government should have had the intestinal fortitude to make a stand based on the sensible recommendations of the royal commission. Instead, it played politics and back-pedalled with a moratorium to postpone crunch time past the next general election. What that did was to create a continuing opportunity for the Greens to carry on a programme of scare-mongering completely at odds with the reality of science."

Mr Dunleavy said Bluegreens hoped all New Zealanders would accept the conclusion of the commission that biotechnology is the new frontier, that continuation of research is critical to New Zealand's future, and that, as in the past, we should go forward but with care.

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