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Mass submissions on GE pine trees expected

Mass submissions on GE pine trees expected

11 August 2000


The participatory democracy advocate web site www.context.co.nz today launched a new webpage to provide the public with an opportunity to directly take part in the discussion on genetic engineering. On http://www.context.co.nz/submissions/ it is now possible to fill out and email an online submission concerning genetically engineered trees.

The Environmental Risk Authority (ERMA) is inviting the public to make submissions regarding the application by the Forest Research Institute (FRI) to field trial genetically engineered pine trees in the open environment. Some of the trees are designed to be sterile while others are herbicide resistant.

“We have provided a simply way for the general public to counter the big money, big business submissions to ERMA” said Phil Doherty, the editor of context.co.nz

“ All you need to do is go to http://www.context.co.nz/submissions/ , fill out the form, click on the send button and ERMA will receive your submission” says Doherty.

Mario Rautner, GE trees campaigner from Greenpeace said: “We are calling on the FRI to apply the voluntary moratorium and halt this field trial. It is a contradiction that a moratorium to limit possible negative impacts on the environment of GE releases was put in place, yet there are institutions like the FRI who may be allowed to release GMOs.”

“It seems that the FRI together with Fletcher Challenge and US based multinational companies have identified New Zealand as a playground for an unpredictable experiment with nature. Making a submission is one way the public can oppose genetic engineering.”, said Mario Rautner. “We support context providing the public in New Zealand but also in other countries with a forum to express their concerns about genetically engineered trees in New Zealand.”

-Ends-

For further information contact:

Phil Doherty from context.co.nz on 04 476 2829
Mario Rautner from Greenpeace on 09 630 6317

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