INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government Risks Inflaming The GM Debate

Published: Fri 27 Jul 2001 12:31 AM
Government Risks Inflaming The GM Debate By Showing Favouritism To Green Party
The decision by the Government to give the Green Party privileged access to the Report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification risks inflaming the post-release debate, the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.
“We have confirmed the Government intends to give a copy of the Report to the Green Party immediately after the Cabinet meeting; before journalists get access, before all the other interested parties at the hearings. This makes it look as though the Government has decided it doesn’t want a balanced debate now the Royal Commission has done its’ job.
“Many of the member organisations of the Life Sciences Network have written to the Prime Minister expressing their dismay.
“We have suggested to Government they do what happens with other releases of sensitive information where the Government wants to create the right environment for the following debate to occur in. With Budget briefings and Reserve Bank briefings it is usual for analysts and commentators to be included in the media lockup so they are available for informed comment immediately after the press conference has finished.
“The Life Sciences Network believes this is an eminently fair approach which allows the Green Party, and other major participants in the Royal Commission, to have the same chance of getting to understand the Report before they are asked questions by the media,” concluded Dr Rolleston.
Ends

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