Inderscience Publishers

New Zealand's Royal Commission on Genetic Modification: a critical review

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The New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification was established in May 2000 to consider how New Zealand should respond to genetic modification technology and its applications and to advise on any needed changes to relevant law or policy. This article provides a critical analysis of the Royal Commission's report. It begins with an overview of the report and then goes on to examine the reasoning behind its conclusions with respect to key issues, including crops, food and New Zealand's institutional structure for the regulation of genetic modification technology. The article concludes that although the report constitutes a valuable snapshot of the genetic modification debate in a national setting where the stakes are unusually high, the quality of the Royal Commission's reasoning is often disappointing.

Keywords: decision-making, genetically modified organisms, New Zealand, policy and law, Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, technology

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