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Government can’t continue to ignore biotech

The Royal Society’s report has reinforced that the Government can’t continue to ignore biotechnology, National’s spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation Dr Parmjeet Parmar says.

“The report shows that that legislation needs to be updated as the restrictions it imposes are disproportionate to the risks given the latest advancements in the field of gene-editing.

“The report looked at the benefits that biotechnology could have in the fields of pest control, health and the primary sector. It shows that we need to have a public debate to update the legislation so that the benefits can be explored.

“The Government has ignored official advice that New Zealand is falling behind the rest of the world. The Government needs to stop letting its ideology get in the way and let the science speak for itself.

“The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act was drafted when the current advancements couldn’t have even been imagined. It’s now time for the law to catch up with reality.

“National has committed to modernising the rules around biotechnology in both our environment and primary industries discussion documents.

“I am calling on the Government to act urgently to respond to the need to bring the legislation governing biotechnology in New Zealand in line with the latest advancements in this field.”

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