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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2516


Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (7.53 p.m.) —The issue of a human gene being implanted in a plant gene is theoretically possible. I am advised that it has not happened yet; and the reality is that it is unlikely to happen. However, this legislation is regulating plant genes, not human genes.

  Manipulation of human genes is currently regulated by the Genetic Manipulation Council. I am advised that legislation will be introduced codifying that council into law and determining the way human genetic manipulation is to be governed. I am advised that that piece of legislation will be introduced sometime next year and will deal with the issue of human genetic manipulation. Senator Coulter raised another issue, which I answered in my initial comments about why we are including fungi and algae. I have already given a response to that point.