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Greenpeace & GE medicine

Page - February 1, 2007
Greenpeace's expertise is in environmental issues and focuses on the ecological risks connected with the release of GE organisms into the environment.

Greenpeace action at Nestle headquarters in Switzerland, over repeated discovery of GE ingredients in the company's Asian products.

We are no experts in the field of medical questions which often involve many social aspects.

The application of genetic engineering in medicine is different to the use of GE in agriculture or aquaculture. The use of GE in agriculture or aquaculture involves massive release of GE organisms into the environment.

In the medical sector, GE is used to develop new drugs or to develop new diagnostics kits with the majority of these applications not involving the use of GE organisms or their release into the environment.

The production of pharmaceuticals can be done by GE micro-organisms in contained facilities.  

Scientific progress in molecular biology has great potential to increase our understanding of nature and to provide new medical tools. There might be beneficial applications in the diagnosis or treatment of serious diseases.

Greenpeace is not in general opposed to the use of GE in the medical sector, but research and application should only take place in truly contained systems.

No GE organisms producing, for example drugs or hormones, should escape into the environment because of the risks to human health, wildlife and ecosystems.

We believe that GE should be kept in the lab.