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Auckland mothers should follow rules on GM too


Auckland mothers should follow the same rules on GM as everyone else

The Life Sciences Network is very confident the attempt by a group of wealthy Auckland mothers to overturn a decision to allow vital scientific research will fail, the Chairman of the LSN, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“If the information they place in front of the court is as factually deficient as their media release indicates then they don’t deserve to win and will have spent $30,000 of their supporters money on a lost cause.

“The mothers don’t even know that the moratorium on release of GMOs, which expires in October, specifically permits field trials.

“Nor do they appear to know that there will be no application for a release of any GMO resulting from this research until the research has been completed in several years time. That subsequent application will be subjected to a further detailed examination of all the issues by the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

“We are disappointed that the mothers decided not to make submissions to ERMA when it was considering the application from AgResearch but have now decided to challenge the decision. Where’s the justice in allowing people to effectively appeal a judgement they chose not to participate in when they could have? We hope the Court takes a strenuous look at the bona fides of these people.

“The ERMA decision was a sound decision which took into account the facts, the science and the views of all the submitters who presented to it at a hearing over several days in Hamilton. The research is supported by the local Maori and has the potential to deliver many important therapeutic proteins in cows milk.

“We are sure the mothers of children with cystic fibrosis, with muscular dystrophy and the many other diseases with a basis in gene malfunction will be more than a little distressed at this attempt to stop science which holds so much promise for their children.

“We support the right of groups like the Auckland mothers to express their views on uses of gene technology but we believe they should do what all the rest of us have to do – make their case through the process set out by the HSNO Act,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

ENDS

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