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ERMA Review Must Be Based On Facts

August 27, 2002

ERMA Review Must Be Based On Facts

The proposed review of the Environmental Risk Management Authority is welcomed even if it is likely to be a repeat of the review undertaken by the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“While we think a review is likely to lead to increased public confidence in our regulatory process we are concerned at the implication that the outcome may have been predetermined by the Green Party.

“In saying they expect ERMA to make different decisions following the review the Green Party is seeking to predetermine the outcome of what should be a balanced examination based on facts.

“LSN members will be most concerned to ensure the review is fair and impartial so will be seeking early consultation from the Government on the terms of reference for the review.

“It is also ridiculous for GE opponents Greenpeace to suggest applications which are currently being processed should be delayed until the completion of the review.

“The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification undertook a detailed review of the operations of ERMA as a part of its 14 month examination of the regulation of GM in New Zealand. That review made a number of recommendations which have still to be implemented but, more importantly, found ERMA to be a very competent regulator operating a robust system.

“The Network has always had concerns about the costs of gaining approvals for low-risk research and development. An outcome of the review we will be seeking is for cheaper and more expeditious processing of applications for low-risk work, inside and outside the laboratory,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

Ends


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