Greens get it wrong againSunday, Aug 10, 2003
"The Green Party’s claim that New Zealand is still GE free is inconsistent with their earlier claims that GE in the environment is irreversible," Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston said today.
"You can't have it both ways. If GE outside the lab is irreversible then the growing of GM crops in the mid nineties and the ongoing importation of corn which contains GM would mean that New Zealand lost its GE free status a long time ago.
"Genetic engineering has been one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in farming history for those countries where farmers are given the choice. A study carried out by the National Centre for Food and Agriculture Policy showed by using genetically modified organisms, farmers in the United States reduced pesticide use by 20,000 tonnes and produced 1.8 million tonnes more product with a net economic gain of NZ$ 3.0 billion.
"The announcement of a suspected case of new variant CJD is a salutary reminder that the real risks to our economy are from exotic diseases such as BSE and foot and mouth, not with the minute presence of GE seed in corn imports," concluded Dr Rolleston.