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Six International Experts To Present GM Evidence

Six International Experts To Present Evidence To Royal Commission

Six internationally recognised experts will present evidence to the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification on behalf of the New Zealand Life Sciences Network during the last two weeks of November.

Dr Patrick Moore, one of the founding Directors of Greenpeace, will present expert evidence on the impacts of genetic modification on the environment and why Greenpeace is wrong to oppose the use of genetic modification.

Julian Morris, from the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, will give evidence to the Royal Commission about why the risks of avoiding GM far outweigh the benefits of going GE Free.

Gary Comstock, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, will give evidence about the ethical basis for making a judgement to support use of GM for agriculture and plant biotechnology.

Dr Martina McGloughlin, Director of the Life Sciences Informatics Programme at the University of California, will give evidence about the importance of biotechnology for solving food shortages and intractable medical problems in third world nations.

Assistant Professor Neal Stewart, from the University of North Carolina, will give evidence about the ecological impacts of genetic modification on the natural environment and on Monarch Butterflies.

Professor Steve Hughes will give evidence about the detailed study undertaken by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics on modified crops.

Details of dates for presentation of evidence, public lectures and brief backgrounders on each witness are attached.

Media inquiries should be directed to Francis Wevers (see below)

Phone 04 916 0100
Mobile 021 916010
Email fwevers@lifesciencenz.com

Date: Friday, 10 November 2000
Schedule

Dr Patrick Moore
27 November Arrives Wellington 0800
Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 1000 - noon
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
28 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
29 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 - 1100
Departs from Wellington 1600


Julian Morris
18 November Arrives Wellington 1435
20 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1100
21 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
22 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1200
23 November Dunedin visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0930 - 1700
24 November Auckland Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0930 - 1700
25 November Departs from Wellington 1550

Dr Gary Comstock
20 November Arrives Wellington 1130
21 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 -1100
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
22 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
23 November Auckland Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0930 - 1700
24 November Depart Auckland 1300


Dr Martina McGloughlin
19 November Arrives Wellington 1130
Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 1400 - 1600
20 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1100
21 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
22 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1200
23 November Palmerston North Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 1000 - 1600
24 November Auckland Visit; available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0900 - 1400
Depart Auckland 1530


Dr Neal Stewart
28 November Arrive Wellington 1130
29 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
30 November Christchurch Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0930 - 1700
1 December Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1100
4 December Auckland Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement
5 December Depart Auckland 1345


Dr Steve Hughes
26 November Arrive Wellington 1435
27 November Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1100
28 November Evidence to Royal Commission; cross examination; may be some brief opportunities for media interviews at the end of the day 0930 -1700
29 November Palmerston North Visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 1000 – 1500
Public lecture – Urban Crank Theatrette, BP House, Featherston Street 1730 -1930
30 November Dunedin visit; public lecture and available for local media subject to prior arrangement 0930 - 1700
1 December Available for media interviews subject to prior arrangement 0900 – 1100
2 December Depart Wellington 0810
Dr Patrick Moore
Dr. Patrick Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for 30 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. As the leader of many campaigns Dr. Moore was a driving force shaping policy and direction while Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization.

In recent years, Dr. Moore has been focused on the promotion of sustainability and consensus building among competing concerns. He was a member of British Columbia government-appointed Round Table on the Environment and Economy from 1990 - 1994. In 1990, Dr. Moore founded and chaired the BC Carbon Project, a group that worked to develop a common understanding of climate change

Dr. Moore served for four years as Vice President, Environment for Waterfurnace International, the largest manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps for residential heating and cooling with renewable earth energy.

As Chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance of BC, he leads the process of developing the "Principles of Sustainable Forestry" which have been adopted by a majority of the industry.

In 1991 Dr. Moore founded Greenspirit, a consultancy focusing on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change

In 2000, Dr. Moore published Green Spirit – Trees are the Answer, a photo-book that provides a new insight into how forests work and how they can play a powerful role in solving many of our current environmental problems.

 Ford Foundation Fellowship, 1969-1972
 Ph.D. in Ecology, Institute of Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia, 1972
 Honours B.Sc. in Forest Biology, University of British Columbia

Julian Morris
Education
Graduate Diploma, Law, University of Westminster (1999)
MPhil, Land Economics, Cambridge University (1995)
MSc, Environment and Resource Economics, University College London (1993)
MA, Economics, Edinburgh University (1992)
Employment
Institute of Economic Affairs, London
Director, Environment and Technology Programme
City University Business School, London
Visiting Lecturer (1995-96)
Commerzbank, Frankfurt
Econometric Forecaster (1993)
Journalism
My articles have appeared in The Sunday Times, the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well a many other newspapers and magazines.
I have appeared on many radio and television appearances, including the Today Programme, the World Tonight, and Newsnight.
Consultancy
I have worked as a consultant for the World Wide Fund for Nature, Save the Rhino International, the European Environment Agency, and various other organisations.

Dr Martina McGloughlin

Professor Martina McGloughlin is the Director of two programs at UC Davis; the Biotechnology Program and the UC Systemwide Life Sciences Informatics (LSI) Program which covers all nine UC campuses and three national laboratories. She has been at UC Davis since 1989.
Her responsibilities include acting as a resource for, coordinating support for, and promoting research among faculty, staff, post-doctoral associates and graduate students working in biotechnology related fields.
The LSI Program is a three-way life sciences informatics partnership involving state, industry and the university. The aim is to drive the Californian economy. LSI research advances the development of strategies for analysis and management of very large complex data sets needed to improve the quality of healthcare, safety, food production and the environment.
Prior to her employment at Davis Professor McGloughlin was lecturer in genetic engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Her research was on the development of PVX-resistant potato variety at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She also worked on the development of methods to stabilise plasmids in Bacillus subtilis for industrial fermentation in the Department of Industrial Microbiology, University College Dublin.
Professor McGloughlin established a Manpower (Ire.) work experience programme in molecular biology and genetic research in the Department of Genetics TCD. She was the first female Assistant Assay Master responsible for the standard of all precious metals traded in the Republic of Ireland. She won a Biotechnology Industry Fellowship on Molecular Genetic research in the Microbiological Mining Section, General Electric R&D where she worked in the laboratory of Ananda Chakrabarty who made history with the landmark 1980 US Supreme Court decision to grant him the first patent for an engineered organism.
Professor McGloughlin has published numerous papers, encyclopaedia submissions and three books in the biotech are. She serves on several committees and organisations including the Genomics Committee, a WTO Panel on Technology, International Food Information Council Expert panel and a Member of he United Nations Technology Discussion panel on Sustainable Agriculture. She is an advisor for technology development organisations in the US and overseas.

Dr Gary L Comstock

Coordinator, Bioethics Program
Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Professor Comstock has published more than fifty articles and book chapters in his areas of interest, life science ethics and philosophy of religion. He edited the volume Is There A Moral Obligation to Save the Family Farm? (1987), compiled the book, Religious Autobiographies (1995), and is editing a forthcoming volume of essays called Beyond Bioethics.

Comstock's most recent work is called Vexing Nature? On the Ethical Case Against Agricultural Biotechnology (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000). One reviewer has written that the book is "an intriguing intellectual adventure in the ethical assessment of technology . . . [that] will clearly help to advance the international discussion of this subject. Should be required reading for anyone interested in the GM controversy."

Comstock has held positions at Oregon State University; is a Member of the Center of Theological Inquiry, at Princeton; past president of the Society for Agriculture and Human Values; and a popular speaker who has lectured in Asia, Europe, Central America, and Canada. His work has been translated into Spanish. In 1998 he won his College’s Award for Excellence in Outreach.

Education
Wheaton College (B.A., 1976)
University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1983)
Fields of Specialization
Ethics, and Philosophy of religion
Recent Publications
"Do Agriculturalists Need a New, an Ecocentric, Ethic?" Agriculture and Human Values (1995)
"An Extensionist Environmental Ethic," Biodiversity and Conservation (1995)
"Agricultural Ethics," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998)
“Is it Unnatural to Genetically Engineer Plants?” Weed Science (1998)
Vexing Nature? On the Ethical Case Against Agricultural Biotechnology (Kluwer, 2000)
Editor, Life Science Ethics (Iowa State University Press, forthcoming)
Fellowships and Grants
Comstock has served as principal investigator or project director on more than fifteen grants totalling more than three million dollars, including major awards from NSF and USDA

Dr C. Neal Stewart, Jr.


Neal Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Dr Stewart:
 Teaches courses in plant physiology and biotechnology as well as a web-based distance course on the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology targeted for a general audience.
 Researches transgenic plant ecology, gene expression, and gene flow and plant/insect interactions.
 has been active in using the green fluorescent protein (GFP) in plants as a gene flow and expression marker.
 produces transgenic plants for crop improvement and as delivery agents for oral vaccines in his lab.

Other projects in process use transgenic plants as biosensors to detect and report the presence of pathogens, toxins, and landmines.

Dr Stewart’s research has attracted nearly $2 million since 1994. He has been supported by the USDA, NSF, and NASA, among other sources.

Dr Stewart has:
 authored over 50 scientific publications since 1992,
 been registered as an inventor on numerous US and foreign patent applications
 served on several panels and boards, including service to the USDA and EPA.
 been an invited speaker on four continents during the past four years at international symposia and workshops
 given over 25 outside invited lectures about biotechnology during that period
 been awarded the UNC-Greensboro Research Excellence Award in 1999, the top research prize at the university.
 received an M.S. in ecology in 1990 and Ph.D. in plant physiology in 1993 from Virginia Tech
 performed postdoctoral research at the University of Georgia from 1993-1995.


Dr Steven Hughes

Professor Hughes, is a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on Genetically Modified Crops which recently published a major report on this subject.

Professor Hughes works as a Research Professor in the Department of Biological Science at the University of Exeter. His career spans thirty years of conducting academic research and working in the plant breeding and food industries. During this time he has served on a number of national and international research funding and policy committees. He is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Genetic Manipulation in the UK and is also a member of the board of the Centre for the Application of Molecular Biology in International Agriculture (CAMBIA, Canberra).

In 1999 he was a keynote presenter at a series of media training workshops run jointly by the NZ Journalists Training Organisation and the NZ Life Sciences Network on Genetic Modification.

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