17:11 21.08.2005
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HALT GENETIC [picture: biohazard sign] ENGINEERING NOW
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If you have read and judged the arguments for yourself you may wish to support GE FREEZE 99.
Genetic engineering is a hazardous technology.
Genetically modified organisms can mutate to entirely new pests and illnesses. Worst-case scenarios include a bio-meltdown, i.e. a complete man-made disturbance of the intricate natural web of life.
A genetically engineered rupture in the natural food chain can lead to nation-wide crop failures and famine.
GMO foods bear unknown risks for human health.

Genetic engineering is applied and promoted with insufficient public consultationm and risk assessment.
Therefore we, responsible citizens, demand a total ban on all field trials and applications of genetic engineering, until such consultation and assesment has led to a responsible and democratic decision.
Our call is for an immediate Genetic-Engineering-Moratorium, carried by the motto G-E FREEZE 99.

This site provides responsible arguments and unbiased scientific information. Take part in the debate with the genetic engineering extremists. Share our vision and protect our clean and green New Zealand from genetically engineered pollution and possible disaster. Support G-E FREEZE 99 and declare a GE-FREE zone in your community.

Phillida Bunkle's Member's Bill for a Royal Commission

Jeanette Fitzsimons' petition and proposal for a Royal Commission:

17 March 1999 MP ISSUES DRAFT ROYAL COMMISSION GUIDELINES Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today listed suggested terms of reference for a Royal commission of inquiry into genetic engineering. She said support for such a commission, which she mooted late last year, had built to such a strong level it was likely a commission would be set up under a Labour-Alliance-Green government. She has collected over a thousand signatures on her petition for a Royal commission, plus many more which are still out in the regions. "A moratorium on genetic engineering and the Royal commission are inseparable and both are urgently needed as the number of New Zealand experiments, and the amount of genetically engineered foods, are rapidly increasing with no public discussion of the wider issues," Ms Fitzsimons said. "I would be happy to discuss improvements to my suggested terms of reference for the inquiry with the present Government. The issue is so important that we need a non-partisan, balanced and careful scrutiny of the technology - not petty politics," she said. Labour Leader Helen Clark has supported the idea of conscience votes in Parliament on a Royal commission and moratorium, and Labour has voted for labelling of GE foods twice in the House. "Meanwhile Alliance MP Phillida Bunkle has turned the text of my petition into a private member's bill seeking such a Royal commission which will go in the ballot this week." Last Friday Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams supported the call for a moratorium saying there should be "at least a Royal commission of inquiry". Other backers have been the group Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics, who requested a Royal commission as "a proper and unbiased critical forum to investigate this subject, similar to the one that investigated the nuclear power issue". On Saturday two Massey University scientists joined the call for a moritorium, saying in the Manawatu Evening Standard it was important that any research associated with an inquiry be independent. Also last week, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners urged the Government to take a "more precautionary approach" to genetic engineering, and called for independently funded research. "A Royal commission of inquiry was a mechanism used in the 1970s to resolve public divisions over the introduction of nuclear power to this country. It provided a major educational opportunity which led to a better informed community," said Ms Fitzsimons. (Suggested terms of reference follow)

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP
025 586068
07 8686641 (h)
04 4706661


Synopsis of task
The Royal Commission should inquire into and advise on the ethics, scientific uncertainties, risks and benefits, health and environmental effects, and economic repercussions of genetic engineering of food crops, animals and other organisms.

Principal areas of interest
1. The risks and benefits to public health of genetically engineered foods and medicines
2. The risks and benefits to New Zealand's biodiversity and natural ecology of the testing and release of genetically engineered organisms
3. The risks and benefits to New Zealand's agricultural ecology, primary production industries and export markets of introducing genetically engineered crops and animals
4. The scientific uncertainties surrounding the behaviour of transferred genes and transgenic organisms and the processes used to create them
5. The ethical concerns of New Zealanders relating to the mixing of genetic material across diverse taxa - micro-organisms, bacteria, plants, animals and humans
6. The criteria that should be used to decide what genetic engineering activities and products should be allowed, restricted or banned
7. Whether the present regulatory system is adequate to make decisions within this framework and if not what changes are needed.

Commission set-up and procedures
The Royal Commission should be appointed by Parliament and chaired by a High Court judge. It should have 5 members with experience covering ethics, health, genetics, farming and ecology. No member should have a vested interest in, or be a known advocate for or against genetic engineering, or if this degree of neutrality cannot be achieved such views should be balanced across the commission.

It should have a small staff of independent technical consultants.

All hearings of evidence should take place in public, and in main centres around New Zealand so all citizens have reasonable access to its hearings. Technical or scientific qualifications should not be prerequisites for appearing before the commission, because of the ethical questions addressed. Any person may make representations to the commission and be heard. It is important that all evidence is subject to cross examination. The commission should appoint two counsel, one to cross examine witnesses supporting genetic engineering and the other to cross examine those opposing it. Submitters could then route their questions through the appropriate qualified legal counsel.

From the time that the Government announces that the Royal Commission will be established, there should be a moratorium on the release or field trials of transgenic crops, animals or other organisms and on the approval of any further transgenic foods for sale in New Zealand. The moratorium should not be lifted until Parliament has considered the commission's report, and made decisions on its recommendations.

Report of Commission
The commission should be allowed up to 2 years to reach its conclusions. It should report back to Parliament with recommendations that would assist decision making authorities to allow, restrict or ban particular examples of genetic engineering.

Ends. Our call is for an immediate Genetic-Engineering-Moratorium, carried by the motto G-E FREEZE 99.

Take part in the debate with the genetic engineering extremists. Share our vision and protect our clean and green New Zealand from genetically engineered pollution and possible disaster. Support G-E FREEZE 99 and declare a GE-FREE zone in your community.

G-E-gone-wild can never be repealed.

We don't need new hazards in our food.

Responsible science and the precautionary principle require:

- an immediate moratorium on Genetic Engineering (G-E), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Living Modified Organisms (LMOs).

Click the biohazard [picture: biohazard sign, 
link to genetic engineering worst-case scenarios] sign for a glimpse of FRANKENSTEIN scenarios
freeze genetic engineering - before it's too late!
links: at the top of this page (2APR99/Wi) Your opinion5821