INDEPENDENT NEWS

Transgenic cattle decision disappointing

Published: Tue 25 Jul 2000 12:49 AM
Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said she was disappointed at the decision to allow state scientists to insert human genes into a herd of cattle for research.
The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) today approved an application by the Crown Research Institute, AgResearch, to produce a herd of cattle containing a human gene.
“The current law provides no guidance to ERMA on how to deal with public concerns over ethics and values. ERMA deals solely with environmental risk and is not qualified or resourced to consider ethics or values. That is why I proposed we have a Royal Commission of Inquiry,” said Ms Fitzsimons.
“Now we have an inquiry, but before any public submissions have been heard and any ethical debate entered into we have ground-breaking new technology approved. Maori, and the local hapu Ngati Wairere still hold concerns about this project and we have a Treaty obligation to take them seriously,” she said.
Ms Fitzsimons said the project and the scientists would be taxpayer-funded and that there was no public mandate to be undertaking this most controversial work.
“This application should have been halted by the Government until at least the end of the Royal Commission. What we have here is a government agency pre-empting government decisions,” she said.
“ERMA have imposed a number of checks on these experiments such as double fencing, microchipping the cattle and trying to prevent all biological waste and milk entering the wider environment. However this misses the point. Nobody is really worried about these cattle escaping.”
These transgenic cattle will be the second herd of animals containing human genes after PPL Therapeutics were granted permission to develop a flock of up to 10,000 transgenic sheep in the Waikato.
Ends
Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661, 025 586 068
Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Services lead GDP growth
By: Statistics New Zealand
Letter to Immigration Minister From Early Harvesting Growers
By: One Plus One
Scientists discover one of world’s oldest bird species
By: Canterbury Museum
Helping regions fill skills shortages and Kiwis come first
By: New Zealand Government
Report: Govt Inquiry into Auckland Fuel Supply Disruption
By: Inquiry into The Auckland Fuel Supply Disruption
NZ economy grows 0.5% in June quarter, beating expectations
By: BusinessDesk
Don’t blame President Trump for slowing economy
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour's big government economic policies continue to fail
By: ACT New Zealand
Kiwi economic growth slows. We need fiscal caffeination
By: Kiwibank
Weakening economic growth shows need for tax cuts
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
Employers pen open letter to Minister in ‘desperation’
By: New Zealand National Party
Dismissive Minister out of touch with reality
By: ACT New Zealand
Labour issues in booming sector
By: Bayleys
Migrant Workers Association criticises work visa overhaul
By: RNZ
More detail needed on migrant worker policy
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media