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Call to amend Voluntary Moratorium

Life Sciences Network calls for Government to amend Voluntary Moratorium

The Chairman of the New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc), Dr William Rolleston, today urged the Government to amend the terms of the voluntary moratorium on GMO applications to the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

“When we proposed the voluntary moratorium in February no-one realised it would have the effect of preventing safe medicines being used by New Zealanders. This week’s events surrounding the recall of the cholera vaccine, Orochol-Berna, have highlighted an unforseen consequence which needs to be rectified.”

“I have no doubt the organisations which make up the Network, and many other besides, would agree the provisions of the moratorium should be amended to allow any medicine containing a GMO to be taken through the ERMA approval process.

“If we don’t make this exception we run the risk of cutting off our nose to spite our face. Medicines are already required to go through extensive testing to ensure they are safe for humans to use. Successful completion of medical testing should at least allow the medicine to go into the environmental testing process without further hindrance.

“The Green Party has often said they don’t have problems with the use of GMOs for medical reasons. They should support pharmaceutical companies being able to refer medicines to ERMA to see whether or not they meet the appropriate standards for release in our environment,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

For further information, contact:


Dr William Rolleston Francis Wevers
Interim Chairman Executive Director

Phone 03 612 6688 Phone 04 916 0100
Mobile 025 2460634 Mobile 021 916010

Date: Friday, 16 June 2000

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