INDEPENDENT NEWS

Agricultural Research In Danger of Being Lost

Published: Fri 14 Sep 2001 12:08 AM
ACT Agricultural Spokesman Owen Jennings today predicted that hundreds of agricultural research jobs are in imminent danger of being lost to New Zealand unless the Government lifts the moratorium on GM field trials.
'The growing capture of the Coalition Government by the Greens over genetic engineering means that the future for agricultural research and the massive benefits for agriculture, human medicine and our economy will be lost,' said Owen Jennings, ACT spokesman on agriculture.
"I understand that the multi million dollar research business will soon lose its best skilled scientists and facilities offshore and therefore the gains to more forward looking overseas countries unless the moratorium is lifted. The cost to New Zealand will be huge.
"The Government is allowing the Greens to destroy the exciting opportunities that already exist, taking agriculture in New Zealand back to the stone-age.
"Once again the Coalition is demonstrating an abysmal understanding of commercial opportunity. It is not only agriculture that can gain. The most promising research work being carried out now has huge gains for human medicine. There is already offshore interest from the world's leading pharmaceutical and nutriceutical companies in what New Zealand agricultural scientists are achieving.
"The knowledge wave is here now and we have a government more interested in political popularism than principle.
"The Government must act now and lift the moratorium otherwise enormously beneficial research and hundreds of talented people will be lost to this country, probably forever," Owen Jennings said.
Ends

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