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Indian scientist launches international petition

Indian scientist launches international petition in New Zealand

Visiting Indian plant scientist, Professor Channapatna S. Prakash, today launches the international Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology in New Zealand.
Over 2700 scientists from all over the world, including many from New Zealand, have already signed the Declaration which states that biotechnology, rather than posing any new or greater risks than those more traditional methods used by farmers, provides tools that offer more precise modification. Moreover, biotechnology products are subjected to intensive testing.
"Biotech crops allow farmers to grow more food on less land with less synthetic pesticides and herbicides, ultimately protecting wildlife and habitat," said Prakash. "Foods derived from biotechnology will also offer tremendous direct benefits to the consumers through products such as healthier oils, high protein corn, or hypoallergenic peanuts."
“It is vital scientists rebuild the trust of the community in their work. They won’t achieve renewed trust unless they are prepared to stand up in public to promote their science and their contribution to humanity. Our Declaration is one way of doing that.”
“New Zealand scientists have special reason to stand up and be counted because of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification. We will work with the New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc) to promote the Declaration and to carry its message of judicious and responsible use of this new technology for the benefit of the global community.”
(A copy of the Declaration is attached and can also be found on http://www.agbioworld.org/petition.phtml)


For further information, contact:

Dr C.S. Prakash
Director, Centre for Plant Biotechnology
Tuskegee University, Alabama USA Francis Wevers
Executive Director
Phone 04 916 0100 Mobile 021 916010

Date: Tuesday, 11 July 2000

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