INDEPENDENT NEWS

No risk from tamarillo site

Published: Tue 16 Oct 2001 05:20 PM
No risk from tamarillo site
HortResearch, GE Free Northland and GE Free NZ agreed to the following communique:
There has been some public concern expressed over the possible risk to the environment from the recently completed GE tamarillo trail which was conducted at HortResearch Kerikeri between January 1998 and January 2001.
HortResearch considers that the GE tamarillo trial site has never, and still does not, present any ongoing risk. GE Free NZ does not agree.
HortResearch is nevertheless sensitive to public perception and has now offered to temporarily cover and fumigate the site to mitigate any perceived risk to the soil environment. GE Free Northland and GE Free NZ have accepted this offer and consider it to be the best practical option in the circumstances.
HortResearch’s science general manager, John Shaw said “that we are dealing with a perceived risk and it does not relate to scientific reality. Neither HortResearch, nor ERMA, believe there are any scientific reason for the fumigation.
“However we are sensitive to public concern and have agreed to this course of action to put minds at ease,” said Dr Shaw.
The trail met all the requirements and conditions and was formerly reported to ERMA. The site will be monitored until January 2003.
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For further information please contact: Dr John Shaw, HortResearch Palmerston North, 06 356 8080 or 021 401 365

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