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Kedgley Concerned About Gagging Of Scientists

11 August 2000

Scientists concerned about GE safety - Greens

Green MP Sue Kedgley told Christchurch scientists today that some New Zealand scientists had concerns about genetic engineering but were scared to speak out.

Ms Kedgley was addressing scientists at the Christchurch School of Medicine.

She said that some scientists had concerns about genetic engineering but felt pressured to keep quiet because their research or their jobs could be on the line.

"Several scientists have contacted me personally," she said, "and one anonymously through a third party, to tell me of their concerns.

"They also know other scientists who are similarly worried about some of the developments in genetic engineering that are taking place in New Zealand.

"It is alarming that a climate is developing where dissent is not allowed. This could affect the neutrality of science.

"There are real concerns in the scientific community about aspects of genetic modification. This includes potential allergens in GE foods, the inadequacy of current safety testing for GE foods, animal welfare concerns, the increasing dependence of science funding from biotechnology companies, and the ethics of grossly interfering with 400 million years of evolution. Many of these concerns are kept under wraps," she said.

Sue Kedgley MP: 025 270 9088 Gina Dempster, press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289


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