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Royal Commission Offers Sound Path Forward On GM

30 July, 2001 NEWS RELEASE
from
Association of Crown Research Institutes


Royal Commission Offers Sound Path Forward On GM

The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has shown a common sense way through the GM issue that in the view of the Association of Crown Research Institutes (ACRI) should be acceptable to a majority of New Zealanders.

“This report will not please everyone,” said Dr Ian Warrington, Chairman of the ACRI Biotech Group. “ It is complex and extremely detailed. Inevitably there will be controversy and argument.

“Neverthesless the Commission has offered a sound path forward for New Zealand to take advantage of the high level of expertise it holds in biotechnology fields.

Dr Warrington said the commission had fulfilled its task with distinction in achieving a pathway for progress that can benefit all New Zealanders.

“The key is, of course, the maintenance of strict controls on both laboratory research and field trials. We have in place the strictest controls anywhere in the world and in view of this we look forward to fresh research developments that can keep New Zealand among world leaders in this exciting avenue of science.

“New Zealand is a world leader in dealing with these issues through such a high level authority as a Royal Commission. Its decisions set a valuable precedent for government’s world-wide.”

Dr Warrington said the report was good news for scientists. “It carries a strong message that their contribution is valued and there is a respected place for them and the work they do in New Zealand society.

“ACRI believes that through ongoing dialogue and exchanges of ideas and research it will be possible, under the guidelines the commission has put forward, for GM technologies to co-exist with organics production.

“It is pleasing to see that the Royal Commission has strongly recommended an increase in funding support for organics and sustainable systems in New Zealand.

Dr Warrington said he was pleased that the commission appeared to have taken a very broad view of the issues and had recognised the rights of both producers and consumers to exercise choice.

“Following a preliminary assessment, the research and science community and all New Zealanders would appear to be able to see the commission’s report as a sound assessment.

“It sets a good platform for future advancement in this important field of research and the commission is to be complimented for a job well done.”

Ends

For further information

Dr Sean Devine, Interim Executive Director
ACRI
Tel: (04) 472-9979

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