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GE opponents continue to focus on the unreal

Green Party spokespeople and other opponents of gene technology have not offered any substantive research to support their allegations that the Treasury analysis of the recent economic impacts study is wrong,” the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“Nor have they shown any reason why the doomsday scenarios which were included in the study are more likely to happen than the other, less dramatic scenarios.

“The BERL/AERU study itself points out that the range of scenarios which were considered includes some which were highly unlikely. These, unsurprisingly, are the ones which Treasury analysts excluded and the opponents wish to focus on.

“The only surprise in all this is that the authors of the original report decided that the highly unlikely scenarios would remain in the final report. One can only assume they were left in to demonstrate how you would have to manipulate the facts to get to the sort of outcomes predicted by opponents of GM.

“A careful and unbiased assessment of the moderate impact scenarios shows they are consistent with international experience so far and are the most likely given the known developments in Europe and other markets.

“What the economic study shows is that the dire predictions of negative economic consequences for New Zealand, made by the Green Party and the Sustainability Council, can only be supported if extremely unlikely, multiple, sets of conditions come into play. None of those scenarios can be considered to be anywhere near what will really happen as we proceed cautiously on a case by case basis.

“The economic study reinforces the advice of the Royal Commission on GM that New Zealand proceed cautiously with the introduction of commercialised gene technology to preserve opportunities,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

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