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GM Decision Keeps Options Open for NZ Farmers

30 October 2001 PR164/01

GM Decision Keeps Options Open for NZ Farmers

Federated Farmers of New Zealand President Alistair Polson has hailed the Government's GM decision as a victory for science and the future prosperity of New Zealand's biological based economy.

"The Government's essentially pragmatic decision means New Zealand can continue to move forward and maintain our international competitiveness and leading edge in biological sciences, said Mr Polson.

"The balanced criteria outlined today reinforces the Federation's gene policy which supports the need to assess and manage risks to the health and safety of people and the environment from the application of gene technology.

"The Government in its response to the Royal Commission's finding has firmly aligned itself with the Federation's position. In its submission to the Royal Commission the Federation pointed out the need to put conditions on the release of GM crops. The Government has picked up on this and plans to amend the legislation.

"The legislated constraint period on the commercial release of GMOs will provide Government with time to legislate the standards the Environmental Risk Management Authority must apply rather than allowing discretion in the exercise of its powers.

"It is pleasing that the Government has provided a clearly defined framework that will allow science to move forward and play a vital role in preserving New Zealand's future opportunities.

"The challenge ahead is to ensure that new compliance criteria does not become a default ban on continued innovation," Mr Polson concluded.

ENDS

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