Genetic engineering decisions put off for election

Published: Tue 28 Sep 1999 06:40 PM
28 September 1999
Genetic engineering decisions put off for election
The proposal to put decisions on the release of genetically engineered crops on hold until March next year is a Clayton's moratorium, designed to diffuse genetic engineering as an election issue, says Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.
The Government's Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council (IBAC) has recommended a delay in granting any approval for planting GE crops. The Minister of Science, Maurice Williamson has welcomed the call but wants the delay to end on 31 March next year.
"There are no current applications for full release of a GE crop, and the 6 months recommended delay is barely more than the process of considering an application would take anyway," says Jeanette Fitzsimons. "So a six month moratorium amounts to no delay at all.
"Maurice Williamson has seized on the IBAC recommendation as an opportunity to 'park' genetic engineering until after the election, just as he did with road corporatisation."
Jeanette Fitzsimons said IBAC in no way substituted for the Royal Commission of Inquiry that she and others had been calling for since last year.
"IBAC has provided submitters with a summary of the potential benefits of genetic engineering but not described the potential risks. The chair of IBAC is a known advocate of genetic engineering.
"Even if it was a credible authority, IBAC's proposed submission process is totally inadequate as a basis for making this important decision. There is no forum for public debate and no opportunity to challenge evidence given in secret.
"It will come as little surprise that all the main opponents of genetic engineering will be boycotting the IBAC process rather than giving it a legitimacy it does not have.
"Next week my petition calling for a royal commission of enquiry and a moratorium will be presented to Parliament," she said. "It has collected 85,000 signatures so far and more are coming in all the time."

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on the Commerce Commission fuel report
By: Gordon Campbell
Bill to allow licensed premises to stay open for RWC matches
By: New Zealand Government
KiwiBuild programme losing another top boss
Helping our cities grow up and out
By: New Zealand Government
Ngāpuhi elder 'shocked' by conditions at Ngawha Prison
Independent election policy costing unit a step closer
By: New Zealand Government
Primary and intermediate principals vote to accept new offer
Breach of 'journalistic privilege' during unlawful search
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
BSA releases decisions on coverage of mosque attacks
By: Broadcasting Standards Authority
UPDATE: Lack of fuel competition may be costing $400m
By: BusinessDesk
Breaking wholesale stranglehold on petrol supply
By: BusinessDesk
Commission releases draft report on retail fuel market
By: Commerce Commission
CommComm report will lead to more regulation, but same price
By: ACT New Zealand
MTA pumped with fuel market study findings
By: Motor Trade Association
Oil reserves budget blow out reason for quiet levy increase
By: NZ Energy and Environment Business Week
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media