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New Zealand Mothers Say No to GE Milk

Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment (MAdGE) today pushed ahead with their court case against Marian Hobbs (the Minister for the Environment), the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) and AgResearch, New Zealand's largest publicly funded Crown Research Institute.

At the high court today, by consent, timetabling orders were made for filing of evidence in the judicial review proceedings by all parties and a hearing date is likely to be set for the 9th of June.

AgResearch were granted a generic application to conduct experiments inserting what in effect could be a smorgasbord of human, rat, mice, goat and sheep genes into cows for the bulk production of milk and milk proteins. Erma approved the application in September last year. MAdGE opposed the application along with 855 others and appeared at the public hearing before Erma in Hamilton in August last year. MAdGE subsequently filed an application for a judicial review of Erma's decision in the Auckland High Court on 15 January 2003.

“We are taking Erma to the high court for judicial review because the process by which it allows GE experiments to go ahead is slack. If it is to provide New Zealanders with any sort of real bio-security then there needs to be some very real changes made. Erma has proved to be nothing more than a toothless hound guarding a cowshed full of scientific cowboys and ignorant politicians with more interest in their market share and personal glory than the health and well being of the country.”

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