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Farmers Reinforce Commitment to Case by Case Assessment of GMOs

The conditional release of GM organisms on a case by case basis would provide flexibility to deal with risks within a robust science based approach, says Federated Farmers' Grains Council Chair Hugh Ritchie.

In a submission on the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill (NOOM) today Mr Ritchie told the Education and Science Committee that the lack of provision for conditional release was a major deficit in New Zealand's otherwise robust and workable regulatory framework.

"The Federation is concerned that the liability regime under NOOM would impose unwarranted costs on applicants, which could deter investment in GMO research, said Mr Ritchie.

"The extensive enforcement provisions of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act and the Resource Management Act provide sufficient incentives for compliance and liability issues arising from new organisms.

"Issues involving genetically modified new organisms should be no different than any other new organism.

"Saboteurs must be liable for damages and penalties in the event that their actions cause the release of a new organism in contravention of the Act. This must be extended to any organisation that encourages or condones their actions."




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