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Published: 2001-12-03 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s Policy Committee was presented with a petition from the Waikato GE Free Network asking it to take a stronger stance against genetically engineering in the environment.

Two representatives, Gary Clarkson and Jim Dally told the meeting the petition was signed by 2620 people and outlined the dangers of transgenic technology. They asked the Committee to read the material they supplied outlining failures in genetically engineered crops and cross contamination of crops.

The Network wants amendments made to the Biosecurity Act to give more priority to excluding genetically engineered material.

Gary Clarkson said the group was taking a precautionary principle and was focusing on environmental releases rather than laboratory-produced material.

Chairman Evan Penny said the Council would need to wait and see what role central government would give Regional Councils to play in the debate as it was an emerging issue. He thanked the network for providing the information and bringing the Council’s attention to the risks.