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Govt. needs to Provide Certainty for Scientists

8 December 2002 PR160/2002

Government needs to Provide Certainty for Scientific Community

Government needs to provide clearer direction in its Biotechnology Strategy, says Federated Farmers National Board Member Neil Barton.

"While the moratorium on GM remains in place there is still a degree of uncertainly whether the Government intends to move forward with the safe use of biotechnology or focus on more traditional research," said Mr Barton.

"Public good science funding should be targeted at research where the benefits can not be captured by an individual business for example biosecurity and reducing environmental impacts.

"The Federation is generally supportive of the goals of the Biotechnology Strategy but believes it lacks the initiatives required for the New Zealand biotechnology sector.

"A key aim of the Biotechnology Strategy should be a long term communication strategy to educate the public of the benefits of biotechnology and what constitutes biotechnology outside of genetic modification.

"The Biotechnology Strategy must look at all aspects of growing the biotechnology sector including reducing compliance costs. Without appropriate improvements in the New Zealand regulatory environment, growth in biotechnology will be restricted and the strategy undermined.

"The Biotechnology Strategy has the potential to enhance New Zealand's vibrant biotechnology industry. However the Government must address education, regulatory and funding issues to ensure biotechnology sector helps New Zealand achieve its economic, social and environmental aspirations."


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