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Carr should reconsider his stance on GM

Carr should reconsider his stance on GM

The Premier of New South Wales has appropriately drawn public attention to the real dangers posed by promoters of alternative therapies, herbal remedies and dietary supplements the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has ordered Pan Pharmaceuticals to recall 219 products and suspended its licence to operate for 6 months. Some of the withdrawn products are also sold in New Zealand where authorities have moved swiftly to follow the Australian example.

The TGA said Pan substituted ingredients, manipulated test results and used sub-standard manufacturing processes, leaving 19 people hospitalised and dozens suffering adverse reactions.

“In calling for a rigorous study of alternative therapies and complementary medicines Mr Carr has identified the reason why we have an agency to regulate the safety of alternative therapeutics – something which alternative therapy lobbyists are trying to avoid in New Zealand.

“But we also call on Mr Carr to step back and reconsider his ill-judged call for a 5 year moratorium on commercial release of GM products in New South Wales.

“The very same people he has said are no better than 19th century medicine man hucksters are the ones who are most opposed to gene technology. Both in Australia and New Zealand the people touting untested and scientifically unsupported alternative therapies have been active in opposing the highly regulated and extensively tested products of gene technology.

“The contradiction is stark and even Mr Carr must now recognise those facts.

“GM products which have been approved for release into the environment have been judged by all the best experts to be safe. Farmers and the public of New South Wales should not be prevented from exercising their individual choice to use products which have been proved to be safe – in sharp contrast with the alternative therapies Mr Carr is complaining about today,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

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