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ERMA Review May Have Negative Spin-offs

28 August 2002

ERMA Review May Have Negative Spin-offs

Having spent $6.5m on the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification which endorsed the rigorous nature of the Environmental Risk Management Authority, it is surprising that the Government is set to revisit ERMA's processes, says Federated Farmer's National Board Member Neil Barton.

"However, Federated Farmers supports the need to assess and manage risks from the application of different production technologies and methods, and therefore will participate in any review, said Mr Barton.

"Hopefully the review will provide opportunity to streamline the time consuming and expensive nature of ERMA's current robust processes. However, this review creates the risk that potentially unworkable regimes will be put in place to appease the Greens and in effect continue the moratorium on GM.

"Ironically the spin-off from this review could prevent the use of environmentally friendly technologies and creates an incentive for potential biosecurity breeches if the current robust processes become unworkable.

"New Zealand farmers have retained international competitiveness through increased productivity achieved by the uptake of research and by being responsive to the quality and safety demands of a wide range of international consumers. New Zealand cannot afford to deny farmers access to environmentally friendly and production enhancing technologies."


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