GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 27th November 2003

Scientific Data goes Up in Smoke

New Zealand authorities are allowing vital scientific information about the impact of genetic engineering on animals to go up in smoke. Despite government claims to be pursuing important research into GM as part of the "knowledge wave" the destruction of thousands of GE sheep without samples being taken for proper scientific study reveals that there may be more interest in ignoring the data than there is in studying it.

About 1850 GE sheep have so far been destroyed at the failed PPL-trial site out of approx 3500 animals.

"The outrageous thing is that this ill-conceived experiment is now being terminated apparently without a scientific investigation into one of the world's largest GE animal projects," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

It appears to be a policy of "ask no questions and we will have to tell no lies". Without testing the animals to help answer legitimate scientific questions by studying the samples - the authorities are betraying the basic foundations of good science. Destroying the evidence allows a continuation of claims that "there is no evidence" of negative effects from the GE process on animals.

Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

Subject: 11377 (2003) Published - Environment - Normal Reply Question: How many transgenic sheep have been removed from PPL's flock of genetically modified sheep at Whakamaru in each month of 2003, and where and how have they been disposed ?

Portfolio: Environment Minister: Hon Marian Hobbs
Date Lodged:13/11/2003

Answer Text: Stock data has been supplied by PPL to government departments since mid-June 2003. The number of sheep disposed each month is as
- June - 18
- July - 356
- August - 464
- September - 515
- October - 367
- November - 82

This stock data includes both transgenic sheep and sheep with transgenic parentage whose transgenic status has not been confirmed by testing. All sheep are disposed of by incineration in the company's on-site incinerator.

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