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Maori Party Appalled At Support Of Terminator Tech

Maori Party appalled at proposal from
New Zealand to support Terminator Technology

11 February 2005

Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, said today that she was horrified to learn that at the meeting of an advisory body to the UN Convention on Biological diversity taking place in Bangkok, New Zealand has supported the proposal from Canada to overturn the international moratorium on the use of 'Terminator Technology'.

A 'terminator' gene is genetically modified - produced by a company - isolated and then inserted into the DNA of the target plant. This allows GE manufacturers to effectively control and manage all aspects of the plant.

'Terminator' genes make sterile seeds, which will not grow. Farmers cannot 'save' seeds, but each year, must buy new seeds from the company. Other systems involve the seed being inactive, until the farmer buys a chemical from the company which is then sprayed onto the seed.

Mrs Turia noted:

Many New Zealanders have voiced their concerns about manufacturers 'playing God', seeing an intervention such as terminator technology as morally repugnant.

"Tangata whenua have told us, consistently, that when the balanced cycle is interfered with through genetic manipulation, it will ultimately cause an imbalance, and in doing so, the link between our tikanga and the natural world will be affected".

"I would hope those representing us at the Bangkok forum will also seriously consider the obligations placed on the Government by the Treaty of Waitangi in GM decision-making.

Given that the Treaty sets out relationship for 'power-sharing' with Government, it will be necessary to ensure that Maori views are sought and reflected before any decisions of a terminator nature are made".


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