ACT’s Research, Science and Innovation spokesperson, Parmjeet Parmar, has reiterated her party’s commitment – and that of the coalition government – to liberalising the laws which tightly regulate genetic engineering in this country.
“ACT has long said that if we want to get serious about reducing our emissions and allowing scientific innovation in New Zealand, rather than forcing our scientists to do their work in the States, we must liberalise our archaic genetic engineering (GE) laws,” she said in a press statement.
“ACT’s coalition agreement commits to liberalising GE laws. This is desperately needed to ensure we can make scientific advancements while having a clearly regulated framework that mitigates risk. Crucially, the regulation needs to be proportionate to risk.
“Australia modernised its laws in October 2019. We risk being left behind if we don’t do the same.
“For example, innovations like AgResearch’s High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass, which has the potential to reduce livestock methane emissions by around 15 per cent and ensure less nitrogen is excreted into the environment, are illegal here.
“We look forward to liberalising New Zealand’s archaic laws on genetic engineering and allowing our scientists to be leaders, not laggards.”
Parmjeet Parmar immigrated to New Zealand from India in 1995 and received a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland.
At the 2014 general election, standing as a National Party candidate, she became the first Indian-born woman to become a Member of Parliament. She was appointed Opposition Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation from 3 November 2017, and Statistics on 16 July 2020.
After losing her seat in the 2020 general election, she changed allegiance to ACT.
She is chairperson of Parliament’s Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee.
Source: ACT Party