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GE Provides Opportunity To Enhance Sustainability

August 5, 2002

GE Provides Opportunity To Enhance Sustainability

The ability to commercialise new gene technology products when the moratorium on GM commercialisation expires next year will provide many opportunities for New Zealand to increase its commitment to sustainable development, the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston said today.

“Early adoption of crops which have been modified to use less herbicides and pesticides will improve water quality and reduce exposure of workers to chemicals; early development of genetically engineered carrots to reduce possum populations will have huge positive impacts on the sustainability of our native forests and our dairy industry; early development of reduced lignin pine trees will mean major reductions in the use of harsh chemicals in the word processing industry.

“These, and many other developments currently under examination in laboratories in New Zealand and overseas, will give real meaning to the desire for sustainable development.

“Gene technology will also give real meaning to the “clean and green” label we are all so proud of but which currently lacks real substance. We will also be able to be much cleaner and greener if we use gene technology selectively to gain environmental, health and economic benefits.

“We must also remember sustainability is not only about the environment. It is also about economic sustainability and sustainability of our way of life,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

Ends

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