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    No. 7 · Safe Food Campaign Newsletter ·July/August 2000

    Make an effort - make a difference

    Tell the Royal Commission what you think about Genetic Engineering

    Now is your opportunity to have an influence on important decisions about the future of genetic engineering in New Zealand. This is an exciting and unprecedented opportunity for the New Zealand public to express in their own words, their feelings and beliefs on this issue. The Royal Commission has been set up specifically to consider the issues of GE from a neutral stance with consideration for the views of all New Zealanders at all levels.

    The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification has been set up to investigate several matters including looking at the risks and benefits from the use or avoidance of genetic engineering technologies and products, and how they are likely to be distributed. It will also look at the international legal obligations New Zealand faces regarding genetic engineering, as well as studying the evidence and uncertainty about applications of genetic engineering and the use of genetically engineered organisms and products. The Royal Commission will also look at the main areas of public interest in GE including human health (biomedical, food safety and consumer choice).

    The four-person Royal Commission is headed by former Chief Justice, Sir Thomas Eichelbaum. The other members of the Commission are:

    Dr Jean Fleming, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Otago Medical School. She is highly qualified in the field of Biochemistry, Physiology and Structural Biology.

    Rev Richard Randerson, of Auckland who has an extensive academic background in religious studies and brings a solid understanding of ethical issues to the Commission.

    Dr Jacqueline Allan, a GP of Auckland with experience in the area of Mäori medical health.

    The Royal Commission of Inquiry held a series of scoping meetings (to decide the content and format of the inquiry) on 7, 8 and 9 August in Wellington. The Safe Food Campaign applied for and received "interested person status" on 10th August, which gives us the right to:

    • Present a submission orally to the inquiry

    • Seek permJations

    • Make a sJr.

    The firJtised by the Royal Commission prior to this date.

    Send your submission to:

    Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification
    PO Box 3554
    Wellington

    Fax: 04-4959153
    Email: info@gmcommission.govt.nz
    Website:http://www.gmcommission.govt.nz

    This next has not been moved to this site. but there is a link to AMP below

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    Because we think this is such an important opportunity we have devoted the centre spread of this issue to provide you with clear guidelines on making submissions thereby making it easier for you to write one! These have been generously provided by Amp (Amplifying your voices to the Royal Commission) an independent group run by volunteers committed to encouraging, supporting and co-ordinating submissions to the Royal Commission.

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    You might feel yours is a small voice, but together with voices of other New Zealanders you can make a difference. SF

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    The Moratorium on Genetic Engineering

    AvoluJ the moratorium say ERMA.SF

    GE Labelling

    Agroup of about 60 people with banners and costumes assembled in Wellington on July 28 to endorse their wish to have all GE food labelled.

    The Health Ministers of Australia and NZ decided to label GE foods if they have more than 0.1% GE content. Exemptions include: takeaway and restaurant foods, additives, foods derived from GE organisms without detectable protein e.g. sugar & oil. This means a lot of processed food which is derived from GE components will not be labelled as such. So the consumer still won't have enough information to avoid risks.

    Our advice is to buy organic food and avoid processed supermarket food.SF

    July 2000

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