Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Parliamentary Biotechnology Commissioner Needed

GE Free NZ calls for Parliamentary Commissioner for Biotechnology: Onion application a disgrace

GE Free NZ in food and environment have major concerns about the lack of due process even before the GE Onions application is even heard. The concerns are so great that we are calling for the appointment of a Parliamentary Commissioner on Biotechnology as recommended by the Royal Commission on GM.

GE Free NZ considers that the public, who have been continually advised by Marian Hobbs that we can trust ERMA, currently cannot do so with confidence.

The GE onion application GMF 03001 is considered the worst application observed over several years. A lack of quality-control in the initial stages of the decision-making process has multiplied the potential for ERMA to make a wrong decision.

In addition, ERMA’s failure to adopt verification standards creates a precedent, which affects future decisions but fails to deliver proper process as promised by government.

GE Free NZ in food and environment calls on the government to implement the " missing" recommendation of the Royal Commission. Though the recommendations of the Royal Commission are considered to have advantaged the biotech industry those advocating caution, public accountability and contestability, have either been ignored or delayed.

" It is time the Public had the protection of a Parliamentary Commissioner on Biotechnology. As things stand the New Zealand public are being sidelined and abused by an unresponsive system," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

The key concerns apparent today include:

(1) The application contained a number of inaccuracies. One submitter, Dr Tim Jenkins noted fifteen inaccuracies in the application and he was not alone. It neither stated field test size, nor a list of controls proposed by the applicant.

ERMA states it verified the application on 7 July 2003, six weeks later, the day after public applications closed, ERMA was still requesting information from the applicant. ERMA provided submitters with a sub-standard application, the result of their poor verification process. The incomplete application lacked information crucial to submitters by citing commercial sensitivity to keep it from public scrutiny . Similar research has already been done in joint trials in the US but results have been refused to ERMA because they are " commercially sensitive".

Many of the 1933 submitters, 427 of whom wished to be heard at the hearing, are effectively barred from making representation by ERMA’s decision to hear submissions in Christchurch, and are now unable to participate in an issue of importance to this country.

GE free NZ in food and environment have serious concerns about the lack of quality of this application, the failure by ERMA to verify this application and the failure to apply legal process. These issues have been raised in submissions to ERMA, yet ERMA has shown no inclination to

raise verification standards or provide submitters with timely, relevant and complete information. Without a Parliamentary Commissioner for Biotechnology, submitters have few alternatives but to take legal action.

"GE Free NZ in food and environment wants what the Royal Commission recommended and the government promised us: a transparent, contestable and rigorous process, " says Jon Carapiet. "ERMA is clearly not providing this to New Zealanders so we urge government to deliver what it has promised."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>

Elsewhere:

Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:

Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>