More MS news articles for February 2001

MS research decision appealed

New Zealand News

Research into a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis hinges on a landmark case in the High Court at Wellington.

In what is believed to be the first time an Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) decision has been appealed, Featherston woman Claire Bleakley and others are trying to overturn Erma's approval for research in which copies of human genes would be put into cattle.

AgResearch, a crown science company, wants to put a human gene into cattle as part of experiments to find a way to treat multiple sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society is supporting AgResearch.

AgResearch's Ruakura site near Hamilton, where it was proposed the cattle would be kept, is leased from a trust that holds the property for a local hapu, Ngati Wairere, which has opposed AgResearch's plans.

The lawyer for Ms Bleakley and others appealing against Erma's decision, Jamie Ferguson, said the appeal was based on lack of openness in decision-making and the proper legal criteria and methodology not being applied.

Two judges are expected to hear the appeal this week.