Scientist does about turn on GE onions
2.Corngate paper trail continues
1.Scientist does about turn on GE onions
The Southland Times, 01 October 2003
A scientist who participated in early work to genetically engineer onions - but has since turned her back on the technology - will speak against the project in Gore next week.
Elvira Dommisse will return to her hometown for a one-night public speaking engagement to discuss genetic engineering and its implications, on the eve of a crown science company seeking approval for field trials of GE onions.
From 1985 to 1993 Dr Dommisse worked for Crop and Food's predecessor, helping set up the GE onion research as part of a PhD she later completed while working at Crop and Food. Anna Butcher said yesterday her sister left Crop and Food a decade ago because she no longer wanted to play a part in research on the genetic engineering of food crops.
The decision to quit was based on several factors apparent at the time, and her resolve to keep New Zealand free of GE crops had since been strengthened through the increasing knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.
Dr Dommisse, who teaches music and plays in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, has remained involved in the GE debate and wrote a scientific argument for the Greenpeace submissions to Erma in opposition to the proposed field testing of GE onions.
Public hearings on the application by Crop and Food will be held in Christchurch on November 3.
2.Corngate paper trail continues
01 October 2003
The massive "Corngate" paper trail continued yesterday with the Government releasing hundreds more pages of documents and e-mails on the issue.
The release was in response to a National Party official information request and takes to nearly 3000 the number of pages released since Corngate hit the headlines in July last year.
The Corngate affair is the alleged release and subsequent Government cover-up of genetically engineered contaminated corn in 2000 outlined in Nicky Hager's book Seeds of Distrust, published during last year's election campaign.
Prime Minister Helen Clark denied any cover-up or contamination when the book was released last July 10 - just 17 days before the election - and pledged to release all Government advice on the matter. The release of hundreds of pages started that day.
Yesterday's document dump sheds little more light on the matter and sparked little reaction from the Green and National parties, who are driving the issue and are convinced of a Government cover-up.
Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who heads a parliamentary committee conducting an inquiry into Corngate, was in the Coromandel so did not see the documents, while National's most vociferous MP on the matter, Nick Smith, is overseas.
National MP Paul Hutchison, who is on the inquiry committee, said while there were no revelations in the papers released yesterday, they did contain some documents not previously released despite Miss Clark saying everything would be.
"It seems quite extraordinary, really, that this is still going on. You'd think that after everything, after the inquiry, they would have just made every effort if what she said was really true, that they were going to be totally open," Dr Hutchison said.
"Things like this just continue to come out of the woodwork if they're prised out and the question is 'is there more?'. It puts Helen Clark's credibility in great question."
GE firms could insure with catastrophe bonds - academic Such an alternative risk transfer instrument could even cope with the cost of an evacuation of the whole of New Zealand in the event of an ecological disaster caused by a GE mishap