29 January 2003
US GM 'experts' to counter 'misinformation' in New Zealand
Professor Martina Newell-McGloughlin is one of the world's great GM zealots – and that's saying something! Will the U.S. bring in Dennis Avery next, as the US embassy in London did... or perhaps the U.S. State Dept's roving GM ambassador Prof Prakash could be brought into play? That would certainly ensure that "legitimate, truthful honest information about the whole biotech industry... be brought to the New Zealand people". Not.
US experts on GM to visit New Zealand
January 29, 2003
The New Zealand Herald [via Agnet]
The United States is, according to this story, sending two experts to New Zealand to counter public "misinformation" about genetically modified crops. Dr Patrick Byrne, a specialist on genetically modified maize and corn at the University of Colorado, will meet local officials and give a public lecture in Wellington for MPs and others on February 24. He will also visit Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Professor Martina Newell-McGloughlin, who heads the University of California's biotechnology research and education programme, will talk to officials, MPs and the public about food and environmental safety at Auckland and Wellington in March.
US Embassy public affairs officer Bill Millman said the embassy asked the two experts to come under its visiting speakers' programme because it wanted "legitimate, truthful honest information about the whole biotech industry to be brought to the New Zealand people".
"Our office here has responded to a lot of inquiries about genetic modification, and to what I think is a lot of misinformation, to try to get people here who can explain the realities of the entire biotech industry," he said.
The Weekend Herald reported on Saturday that the United States was increasingly isolated in allowing genetically modified crops, and recently sent advisers to China to train Chinese officials in transgenic crops. New Zealand's moratorium on commercial release of GM organisms ends in October.