04/05/2010

ERMA To Cancel GE Animal Approvals

 

ERMA will have to cancel its approval for 20 years of GE experimentation with cows, sheep and goats, if the public is to believe the scientific arguments for rejecting the latest GE animal applications.

An Evaluation Report by ERMA staff has highlighted unmanageable risks as scientific grounds for rejecting four "anything, anywhere, anytime" applications by AgResearch. But this is a smokescreen as it has authorised an undefined number of GE organisms to be engineered into cows, sheep and goats, cats dogs, and many small laboratory animals over the last five months the latest being on April 15th.

"ERMA have actually approved all stages of the application 'under the radar' in three recent approvals covering 20 years in the outdoor environment, leaving the need for any further GE animal applications redundant.” said Claire Bleakley president of GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"The scientific problems are the same and failure to cancel the approvals, would make a mockery of the reasons being given now".

The reasons for recommending that the application be declined include

 The exceptionally large range of genetic modifications, techniques and traits
proposed means it is not possible to identify the full range of GM organisms to be
imported, developed or field tested.

 Without being able to identify the range of GM organisms an assessment of effects, as
required by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO Act), cannot be
meaningfully undertaken, including identifying the biological nature of the GM
organism; and the nature and degree of hazard.

 It is also not possible to properly assess the adequacy of the containment system
proposed by the applicant.

“If these are credible scientific concerns all the previous approvals must be cancelled. The Minister must take action to ensure New Zealand is not harmed as a result of colluding with unacceptable and un-ethical animal experiments,” said Claire Bleakley."

ENDS:
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731
Jon Carapiet 0210507681

References:

ERMA releases preliminary report on GM animal applications

Press Release by Environmental Risk Management Authority at 10:05 am, 03 May 2010

Decision on GMD 200223, GMD 09011, www.ermanz.govt.nz

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