Sir Peter declares GM organisms safe during change-of-job interviews

The changing of the guard in the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s office, and media coverage of outgoing chief scientist Sir Peter Gluckman handing over to his successor, Professor Juliet Gerrard, is the subject of a Science Media Centre post.

Genetic modification was among the issues discussed by Sir Peter, who spoke to Kim Hill on Radio NZ and Corin Dann on TVNZ’s Q&A at the weekend.

Talking with Corin Dann, Sir Peter said genetically modified organisms continued to be heavily debated despite the science being as “settled as it will be” and evidence showed they were safe.

“There are no significant ecological or health concerns associated with the use of advanced genetic technologies,” he said.

“That does not mean that society automatically will accept them. And what we need is a conversation which we’ve not had in a long time that, I think, needs to be more constructive and less polarised than in the past.”

Sir Peter aired the issue of meth testing when interviewed by Kim Hill on Radio NZ.

Prof Gerrard was interviewed by Newshub Nation, where she said the issue of meth testing had been a “really useful case study for me, to see how the scientific evidence was presented and how that was turned into policy”.

“It would’ve been helpful if the scientific evidence had been ahead of the policy decision making. So my top priority is to understand the programme of Government, see where the science advice is going to be needed and to make sure we get that expert opinion in ahead.”

Sir Peter and Prof Gerrard were both interviewed by the NZ Herald last week as well.

Source:  Science Media Centre

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