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'Preserving Opportunities' welcomed by Feds

30 July 2001


PR 114/2001

'Preserving Opportunities' welcomed by Feds

Federated Farmers of New Zealand President Alistair Polson has welcomed the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification's recommendation to preserve opportunities and proceed selectively with appropriate care.

"The Federation will carefully consider the detailed recommendations of the report over the next few days and its implication for New Zealand farmers," Mr Polson said. "The Federation supports a cautious approach to GM technology, assessed on a case by case basis, and that is what the Royal Commission has delivered."

"It is essential that field trials are able to go ahead under controlled circumstances. We welcome the Royal Commission's recommendation to loosen the regulatory regime for 'low risk' activity, reducing the cost of research.

The report encourages the co-existence of all forms of agriculture - conventional farming, organic production and integrated pest management. In stating that New Zealand should keep its options open, proceeding carefully, minimising and managing risks, the Royal Commission are reinforcing the Federations views on genetic modification.

"The Royal Commission has made some specific recommendations with regard to the commercial release of GM crops. These issues will have to be worked through carefully to ensure there is no extreme bureaucratic overlay which would make New Zealand producers uncompetitive."

"The Federation initially considered the Royal Commission unnecessary, but the process has been informative and allowed full debate of the issues, Mr Polson said. "The Royal Commission must be congratulated for the integrity of their process and the seriousness with which they undertook their task."

ENDS

More information: Alistair Polson, PH 473 7269 or 025 370 085 Catherine Petrey, PH 473 7269 or 025 429 965


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