G-E FREEZE 99
HALT GENETIC ENGINEERING NOW
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|If you have read and judged the arguments for yourself you may wish to support GE FREEZE 99.|
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.
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
DRAFT GUIDELINES ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO GENETIC ENGINEERING
Synopsis of task
Principal areas of interest
Commission set-up and procedures
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.
Report of Commission
Our call is for an immediate Genetic-Engineering-Moratorium,
carried by the motto G-E FREEZE 99.
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 sign for a glimpse of FRANKENSTEIN scenarios|