24/01/2010

GE Animals Case Heads to Appeal Court

 

AgResearch and GE Free NZ in food and environment are set to go to the Court of Appeal in Wellington on Tuesday 26th January in Court Room 1.

GE Free NZ took High Court action after AgResearch made four applications seeking to develop, import and go into commercial production of products from genetically modified animals across 18 species, including nine species of farm animals (pigs, sheep, cows, alpacas, buffalo, deer, goats, horses and donkeys).

The generic applications sought approval at any location and for an indefinite period to allow commercial production of biopharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and to produce diseased animals for research.

“These four generic applications sought the right to commercialise GE animals as bio factories anywhere, anytime, and in anyplace AgResearch chose. They were so lacking in vital information that it was impossible for submitters to know if and how their bio-security, economic wellbeing or community would be affected now or in the future,” said Claire Bleakley president of GE Free NZ in food and environment.

“Previous applications for genetic modification had already pushed the statutory boundaries to the extreme, and these went even further. The international best-practice approach of case-by-case risk assessment was completely abandoned. Instead these applications were so broad there was no way to know what kind of risk may result,” said Jon Carapiet, spokesperson for GE Free NZ in food and environment.

GE Free NZ believed that the information required by law was so deficient that no member of the public, independent scientific experts or ERMA could properly assess the risks to the community, animal welfare, bio-security or New Zealand’s tourism and export-reliant economy.

"The carte blanche nature of what was being sought forced us to take the applications to the High Court. We were very pleased that Justice Clifford found in our favour, declaring the Applications to be invalid and setting them aside,” said Claire Bleakley

This decision was appealed by AgResearch and the case is going to be heard in Court Room 1 in the Wellington Court of Appeal January 26th at 10am.

ENDS:

Claire Bleakley - 027 348 6731/ 06-3089842

Jon Carapiet - 021 0507681

References:
www.gefree.org.nz
http://www.issues.co.nz/GEFreeNZ/Background+Info


back to directory