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Exercising our democratic rights

Exercising our democratic rights

“Opponents of GM should discuss the issues rather than attack the messenger,” the Chairman of the Life Sciences network, Dr William Rolleston, said in response to criticisms of the Network’s advertorials before they have even been published.

“The Network was established by organisations which felt that science and factual information were in danger of being swamped in the public debate about GM. Since our establishment in 1999 a number of research institutes, including crown research institutes, have decided to become members because they value the input we have had to the public debate.

“The Network’s information resources and participation in the current debate have been fully supportive of the policy on GM adopted by Parliament.

“No-one pulls our strings because we are a democratic organisation with wide representation, as anyone can see by looking at our website. Individual companies participate in the Network through their national industry organisations.

“Participation by crown entities was investigated, and cleared, by government agencies in 2000 following questions from MPs at the time.

“New Zealand is a democracy and under MMP there has been an increased need for organisations with particular issues to advocate those in the public arena.

“We have never questioned the right of organisations like Greenpeace (a multinational corporation itself), GE-Free NZ etc to seek to influence public policy or support the Green Party financially and in other ways. We suggest they are out of order criticising us for seeking to put our collective views into the public arena,” concluded Dr Rolleston.


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