Once again the release of some crazy genetic experiments have been foiled. A couple of weeks ago the High Court did what our so called ‘environmental risk’ management agency (ERMA) didn’t. The High Court effectively stopped the release of numerous genetic experiments involving genes from possums, goats and people – to name but a few.
And these experiments weren’t going to be kept in a lab (not that I’m advocating that either) but were going to be coming to a field near you!
The proponent of this loopy application was AgResearch which, funnily enough, claims to position itself as putting; Farming, Food and Health. First.
Hmmm. At what point within these experiments did it see farming, food or, indeed, our health coming first? Load of bollocks if you ask me.
But all this got me thinking. What is our new Government’s position on genetic engineering and will it change the current regime favoured by ERMA - the renegade authority with the out-of-control-rubber-stamp attitude?
Well, sadly there’s not much in the way of anything really in relation to GE on the National party website. Apart from some vague comment from Nick Smith during the run up to the election in which he said the GE issue was blown out of proportion and that half of the recommendations made by the royal commission of enquiry held years ago have yet to be implemented. What half I wondered? The good half or the bad half? His speech didn’t say.
I then turned to the parliamentary website. Apparently the patent laws are being reviewed by the Government – that slipped everyone’s radar – well except maybe the greens and mine. Patent laws are generally crap. They protect big corporate interests rather than the small business man, your average Joe, or anything else for that matter i.e. environment. It’s pretty much a way for a corporate to have complete ownership of something – a total monopoly.
Like what happens around the world with GE behemoths – think Monsanto (it owns about 70 per cent of the worlds GE interests). The company patents its GE experiments, then commercialises them. In some instances farmers, who have had their fields contaminated by GE seeds from neighbouring properties, have been sued by Monsanto for illegally using its patented seed
It doesn’t seem the new Government is taking much notice of the GE issue – at the very least I hope it sees sense and makes the patent laws stronger and fairer.