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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 136

Senator SIEWERT (6:21 PM) —I move Greens amendment (5):

(5)    Schedule 1, item 39, page 22 (line 28), at the end of subsection 50A(1), add:

    ; and (d)    on the basis of a full written assessment, the release of a genetically engineered or genetically modi-fied organism into the environment poses no risk to the environment.

This amendment adds to section 50A(1) an additional provision for limited and controlled release applications by requiring a full written assessment for the release of a genetically engineered or genetically modified organism before it is released into the environment to ensure that it poses no risk to the environment. We seek to add point (d) to address the requirement for full assessment. If we release a GMO into the environment in non-emergency situations, we believe that we should be very clear about the risk that may pose and ensure that it does not impose a risk.

Again, I repeat: we are dealing with organisms that we do not properly understand that have been genetically modified and we do not know the impact that they are going to have on the environment. I will not bore the Senate with examples, yet again, of the disasters that have occurred with the near release of genetically modified organisms or with issues that we are already seeing with genetically modified organisms. Although I personally have concerns about genetically modified organisms, this is not about trying to stop it; it is about ensuring that if anything is released, it is subject to full assessment. Whether it is a limited and controlled release or a different release, it still needs to be assessed.