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Greens' leader wrong says Environment Minister

15 November 2001 Media Statement

Greens' leader wrong says Environment Minister


Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is quite wrong in her conclusions about the government's response to the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"The government recognises the importance of New Zealand's clean, green image and that is why we have adopted a cautious approach," she said.

"The government has imposed a two-year constraint period on release. During this time essential research, recommended by the Royal Commission, on socio-economic, ethical, environmental and agricultural issues will be carried out. This will involve understanding better the issues involved in managing GM, if we were to go down that road, including the relationship between different types of farming production.

"No decisions have been made nor positions taken by the government on the possibility or desirability of co-existence.

"In order to make informed decisions this work needs to be undertaken. In this sense the government is adopting a far stricter approach than that recommended by the Royal Commission.

" Jeanette Fitzsimons is indulging in scaremongering to say the government has rejected the core recommendations of the commission. She is also wrong when she claims the government has ignored the recommendation about the use of non-food animals. Quite the opposite, we have accepted that recommendation.

"The health and safety of New Zealand has been paramount in our choice of a sensible way forward, preserving opportunities while enabling safe research to take place."

ENDS

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