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Stopping AgResearch field trial unnecessary

Media Release

Stopping AgResearch field trial unnecessary and short-sighted

Calls to stop a field trial involving genetically modified sheep were short sighted the interim Chairman of the New Zealand Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

"If we stop all research and contained field trials until the Royal Commission of Inquiry has deliberated we will be telling the rest of the world, and our scientific community, we don't want to be part of modern medicine anymore."

"That would turn the medical research clock back thirty years in New Zealand, the modern equivalent of a return to the Dark Ages. I can't see how anyone could possibly benefit from that."

"If there is a real risk to the environment from the field trial it would be necessary to reconsider the wisdom of proceeding with the research. Fortunately, the Government has charged the Environmental Risk Management Authority with the task of ensuring those sort of risks aren't taken. The public interest will be fully protected."

"As a community we need to carry on with important medical research," concluded Dr Rolleston.


Issued on Wednesday 9 February 2000


For further information contact:
Dr William Rolleston
Interim Chairman
NZ Life Sciences Network
Ph (03) 612 6688

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