Genetic Modification, Risk Assessment, and Maori Belief Under New Zealand’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996
New Zealand has taken a restrictive approach to genetic modification. There have been no deliberate releases of genetically modified organisms into the environment, for commercial or any other reasons. However, agriculture is New Zealand's most important industry, and considerable pressure to test and release genetically modified organisms has arisen and seems likely to increase. New Zealand has introduced a comprehensive regulatory scheme, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, to control the development, importation and testing of genetically modified organisms. Importantly, this scheme incorporates social and cultural as well as scientific and economic values. This article examines the decision-making record of New Zealand's Environmental Risk Management Authority in a series of cases under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 concerning proposals to develop and field-test genetically modified cattle. This examination finds that the Authority's approach overvalues science and undervalues cultural and social issues, and suggests that this could result in the Authority losing the necessary community confidence to support the deployment of biotechnology in New Zealand.
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Keywords: Genetic Modification; Environmental Law; Resource Management; New Zealand
Research Type: Journal Article