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Sound Science Must Regulate International Trade

31 May 2005

Sound Science Must Regulate International Trade

New Zealand should continue to argue for sound science regarding the international trade of Living Modified Organisms, Chairman of the Life Science Network Dr William Rolleston said today.

“The Government is correct in advocating for GM traders to be exempt from specific liability laws, at the Cartagena Protocol meeting in Montreal.

“The report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification clearly states: ‘From a legal liability perspective we have not been persuaded there is anything so radically different in genetic modification as to require new or special remedies.’ (page 328, Royal Commission on Genetic Modification)

“The call for special liability is a tactic anti-GM groups have been using to enforce a de facto moratorium around the world. Special liability will be detrimental economically and environmentally, and the continued uptake of GM technology internationally suggests it is unlikely to be imposed.

“Exemption from specific liability laws is the only approach if New Zealand is to continue to argue for science-based risk assessment in international trade,” Dr Rolleston concluded.

ENDS

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