INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greenpeace welcomes delay of GE pine field trials

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2000 03:53 PM
Greenpeace welcomes delay of GE pine field trials
Auckland, October 31
Earlier today the Forest Research Institute (FRI) announced that they will delay planned field trials of genetically engineered pine trees until the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has completed its investigation.
“We welcome the decision of the FRI to delay the field trials. Nevertheless the environmental risks associated with these field trials won’t go away until ERMA made a decision to not approve the trials. The trials involve risks to the environment. Genes resistant to antibiotics that are to be used in the genetically engineered pines of the FRI are already banned for such experiments in other countries. ERMA approved the field trials, the authority would act against the spirit of the precautionary principle which ERMA is obliged to,” said Mario Rautner GE Trees campaigner for Greenpeace.
Over the last months Greenpeace has demanded that the FRI act according to the voluntary moratorium. Greenpeace has raised the issue directly with the FRI, the Minister of the Environment, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Crown Research Institutes.
Bryce Heard, Chief Executive of the FRI stated: “We are taking this step to be seen to be acting responsibly and in accordance with the spirit of the voluntary moratorium.”
“If the Forest Research Institute would act responsible rather than trying ‘to be seen to be acting responsibly’’ they would never have applied for the trials and would call them off altogether,” said Mario Rautner.
The ERMA public hearings will be held in Rotorua, November 1 –3.
-ENDS-
Fur further Information, contact Mario Rautner on (09) 630 6317.
or on 025 927 301 at the ERMA hearing (Thursday and Friday)
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Mario Rautner Genetically Engineered Trees Campaigner Greenpeace New Zealand mario.rautner@nz.greenpeace.org www.greenpeace.org
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Greenpeace New Zealand
Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace.

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