The Government intends to review the appropriateness of councils being involved in regulating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), prompted by advice over a liver cancer treatment trial in Auckland, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“A trial for liver cancer vaccine Pexa-Vec is being conducted at Auckland Hospital which involves a GMO. The new Auckland Unitary Plan prohibits the release of any GMO and would not allow any such future medical treatments,” Dr Smith says.
“It does not make sense for local councils to duplicate the role of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in regulating the use of GMOs in New Zealand. The EPA has taken a very cautious approach, approving only two GMOs in 20 years – an equine flu vaccine and the Pexa-Vec trial.