01/05/2010

Deformed GE Animals Unacceptable To New Zealanders

 

Revelations about the deformities occurring in GE animals at AgResearch's Ruakura site will shock most New Zealanders, and will damage the country's reputation overseas.

Information released under the Official Information Act, shows more problems with GM cows than previously publicised, and a concerning degree of acceptance amongst AgResearch scientists of such abnormalities.

"Most New Zealanders would find these extreme deformities unacceptable, especially when alternative research with microorganisms could be conducted without the same degree of suffering," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

AgResearch has four more applications pending approval by ERMA, which could result in more widespread use of cloned GE animals, including production of deformed horses proposed as models of human disease.

"The regulator ERMA and AgResearch have both failed to respect community values. ERMA's own Ethical Framework calls for a replacement of animals and a reduction in their use, but their decisions have allowed exactly the opposite to happen," says Jon Carapiet.

There is a serious breakdown in animal welfare standards and ethical oversight that are the responsibility of ERMA and MAF. At recent ERMA hearings in Hamilton that resulted in an approval to produce GE cows, sheep and goats for the next 20 years, it was revealed the local team in charge of animal welfare actually report to Dr Jim Suttie who also heads the GE animal research programme.

"There is a conflict of interest inherent in this which ERMA is happy to ignore and rubber-stamp to continue. ERMA dismissed the need to consider on a case-by-case basis less cruel and harmful alternatives to production of human proteins," says Jon Carapiet.

The public have lost confidence in ERMA and the Minister responsible for allowing such gross outcomes of extreme science, and for giving approval for it to continue for 20 more years, against independent scientific advice and widspread public opposition.
ENDS

Contacts: Jon Carapiet - 0210507681
Claire Bleakley - 0273486731

Reference
Mutant cows die in GM trial (NZ Herald) May 1, 2010
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10642031&ref=emailfriend
By Eloise Gibson, Copyright 2010, APN Holdings NZ Limited

back to directory