" The GE pine tree hearing set down for 9th November should be postponed until the information supplied by the applicant, Scion, is able to be independently verified" says Susie Lee of GE Free NZ,
" The application and evaluation report is riddled with poor and misleading information that is not at all scientific and opens the country's economy and environment to serious risk".
The Crown research institute Scion are applying to grow 4000 GE pine trees in a field trial in a secret site in Rotorua, the heart of commercial pine plantation research. Previous secret GE sites have been found to be seriously in breach of their controls and GE free believe it is a public right to know where trials are being condiucted even if it is to keep the inspectors and trial operators honest.
" How are 4000 trees going to be monitored in safety when 40 GE trees could not be properly looked after nor the facility fences kept secure?" says Ms Lees.
The application is littered with erroneous and unscientific assertions, where it is projected that pine pollen only disperse for 300 mtrs. GE Free NZ has only just received a summary of data on Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) which was reported by the applicant as not occurring. The recieved summary data is so badly corrupted that no conclusions could be deduced and expert assesment was unable to make any evaluation at all. Is this why it was not submitted for scientific inspection with the application?
GE Free NZ wonder why ERMA has not picked up these annomolies in the evaluation and review reports of this application.
"The conflicts that plague regulatory Authorities are not new but it severely compromises the protective role they have to play in looking after public good. We hope that the ERMA hearing committee is not riddled with the conflict of interest that caused the previous chair of the ERMA GE decision committee to resign or the latest revelation that the European Food Safety Authority chair has been on the boards of GE corporations.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Susie Lees 03 543 2341
Scion GE Trees Application ERMA200479: To field test in containment Pinus radiata with genetic modifications to alter plant growth/biomass acquisition, reproductive development, herbicide tolerance, biomass utilisation, wood density and wood dimensional stability.
Resignation of ERMA Chief Still Leaves Conflict April 16, 2010 GE Free NZ
EU food safety chief forced to quit GM lobby role