Thursday 10th May 2001. SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) said today that they had told the Royal Commission about
AgResearch's cruel PR spin on their Myelin Base Protein (MBP) research during SAFE's hearing in February. SAFE also
stated at the time of ERMA's approval of AgResearch's GE cattle experiment that it was all about producing GE Dairy
products not about benefiting MS sufferers. MBP is already available to researchers and any furthur research on this
product's value to MS sufferers will not come from genetically engineered cows.
But SAFE believes that AgResearch's GE cattle experiment is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unethical
justification of GE research on animals.
"AgResearch has been caught out trying to gain public approval for their GE experiments by giving false hope to MS
sufferers, unfortunately this is only one example of many. This 'medical fraud' has been practised by researchers around
the world, including NZ. to justify GE research. This is an extremely unethical way of gaining approval for agricultural
applications and the sourcing of cheaper sources of proteins and pharmaceuticals." said Gary Reese, SAFE's National
"PPL Therapeutics have also been exploiting the suffering of people with Cystic Fibrosis to justify GE research on
sheep, turning the sheep into what they call "bioreactors" in an effort to source cheap hAAT. hAAT has been used for
over ten years as a treatment for Cystic Fibrosis. PPL's 'so-called' research using genetically engineered sheep has
little or no medical value. In promising false hope to disease sufferers GE researchers have taken in the media, the
politicians and, worst of all, the disease sufferers themselves." Said Gary Reese.
"That New Zealand's own Minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton, has made such definitive pro-GE comment on this issue is
especially concerning to SAFE. Given that Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has yet to report back to the
Government we would not expect a Minister, representing the government, to be making such strong statements on wether GE
research should continue. The Minister is, by his comments, suggesting that the government has already made up their
mind on the issue of GE research in New Zealand." said Gary Reese.
Ak office - Ph (09)309 7738 or 025 2862566