INDEPENDENT NEWS

MS New Zealand Refutes Greens

Published: Tue 8 May 2001 02:13 PM
Dr Tom Miller, Research Director of MS New Zealand today refuted Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimon’s claim that the real purpose of genetically modified cattle research has nothing to do with MS.
In a Green party press release on Monday, May 7, Ms Fitzsimons says that it is increasingly clear to her that the real purpose of these experiments is to perfect the technique of putting human cells into cows in order to produce genetically engineered dairy food and has nothing to do with MS.
“MS sufferers all over New Zealand have been cruelly deceived,” says Ms Fitzsimons. “I am shocked that scientists would use such vulnerable people for their own purposes.”
Ag Research maintains that its project has always focused on researching potential treatments for MS and Dr Miller is angry that its proposed research could be seen in any other light.
Says Dr Miller, “The Green Party’s sanctimonious call for the law to be observed and the Ag Research cows to be killed is a mean spirited attack on the research and on the hopes of people with MS whose future depends on scientists and their search for more effective ways to manage the disorder. David Glenn, National President of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand, whose wife has MS and who consequently has an abiding interest in research and treatments, also adds his voice to the debate.
Says Mr Glenn,” While we recognize community fears of uncontrolled genetic engineering, we feel strongly that this project offers some long-term hope to people with MS. We find the Green Party’s opposition to this project very distressing, because, for a long time, there hasn’t been a lot we can offer people coping with MS. The current disease modifying therapies are extremely expensive and hard to access, so we are very interested in any other possible therapies, especially on that one day may be produced in New Zealand.
For more information please contact the Director of Research Dr Tom Miller on (09) 307 4949 extension 5582 or the MS New Zealand President Mr David Glenn on 021 354 074

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