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Industry must come clean on scientific evidence

"Industry challenged to come clean on scientific evidence"

GE Free New Zealand have sent requests to both the Life Sciences Network (LSN) and ERMA to supply evidence to prove there are 'vanishingly small' risks of Horizontal Gene Transfer ( HGT) in PPL's experiments with sheep with human genes being bred in Whakamaru.

"The data- if it exists-needs to be made public ,' says Jon Carapiet, from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

" If the LSN claims are true this is important information for the world's scientific community to review," says Mr Carapiet.

"There is limited international research on HGT but recent studies suggest HGT may be more frequent than previously believed, especially when the process of Genetic Engineering itself transfers foreign genetic components".

Around 2500 sheep of an approved flock of 10,000 have already been bred yet no evidence of testing for any impacts on ground water and the wider environment appears to be available in the public domain despite apparently undetermined animal deaths.

Only 3 years the scientific fraternity and ERMA rejected information from submitters about HGT, denying it occurred at all, now the majority of scientists agree it does happen but are unsure of the frequency of occurrence.

An accusation by Life Sciences Network William Rolleston, following a recent press release by GE Free NZ, stated 'This behaviour clearly repeats the irresponsible behaviour of certain anti-GE activists.'

" Not satisfied in having persuaded government to give support without liability for their unsubstantiated claims of the potential of genetically engineered lifeforms, outlined in the Biotechnology Strategy, LSN continue a ridiculous offensive against all concerned groups and GE Free supporters.' says Claire Bleakley, President of GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

It is now time for the Life Sciences Network to present their scientific evidence for peer review, or admit that no such studies on the PPL sheep trials actually exist, as ERMA have already stated.

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