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Consistency Not Their Strong Suit

The Green Party policy position on genetic modification seems to be shifting in response to pressure, the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“In recent days the Co-Leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, has declared that GM vaccines would be okay under the Party’s policy.

“This is an apparent shift from their policy statement which limits medical uses of GM technology to containment in the laboratory. GM vaccines have to be taken out of the laboratory to be administered to humans or animals.

“In addition the Green Party now appears to have created a new definition of GM, one which is used by no-one else in the world! In the policy statement on food the Green Party has limited the genetic modification they oppose as cross-species gene transfer.

“If this means they are not opposed to other forms of genetic manipulation then they will have no objection to commercial release of new organisms where the new genes are from similar species.

“This situation also raises another problem. How do they reconcile their position on no cross species transfers in food products when they say that genetically modified human insulin is okay? Human insulin is the product of a cross species modification from human beings to bacteria – as far across the species spectrum as you can get!

“These inconsistencies make it very difficult to understand what the Green Party position really is. To be consistent they should agree with the conclusion reached by the Royal Commission; that is, case-by-case assessment of proposals (as provided for by the Environmental Risk Management Authority and Australia New Zealand Food Authority) is the appropriate basis for sound decision making.

“After all, it’s these very rigorous processes which determine that approved use of GM is safe,” concluded Dr Rolleston.


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