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9-Misc: U.S. experts teach New Zealanders on GE crop benefits

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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  US experts on GM to visit
SOURCE: The New Zealand Herald
DATE:   Jan 29, 2003

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US experts on GM to visit

The United States is sending two experts to New Zealand to counter public
"misinformation" about genetically modified crops.

Dr Patrick Byrne, a specialist on genetically modified maize and corn at
the University of Colorado, will meet local officials and give a public
lecture in Wellington for MPs and others on February 24. He will also
visit Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Professor Martina Newell-McGloughlin, who heads the University of
California's biotechnology research and education programme, will talk to
officials, MPs and the public about food and environmental safety at
Auckland and Wellington in March.

US Embassy public affairs officer Bill Millman said the embassy asked the
two experts to come under its visiting speakers' programme because it
wanted "legitimate, truthful honest information about the whole biotech
industry to be brought to the New Zealand people".

"Our office here has responded to a lot of inquiries about genetic
modification, and to what I think is a lot of misinformation, to try to
get people here who can explain the realities of the entire biotech
industry," he said.

The Weekend Herald reported on Saturday that the United States was
increasingly isolated in allowing genetically modified crops, and
recently sent advisers to China to train Chinese officials in transgenic
crops. New Zealand's moratorium on commercial release of GM organisms
ends in October.