GMO news related to New Zealand

06.02.2008 |

New Zealand food companies praised by Greenpeace for GE-free stance

New Zealand food companies get a thumbs-up over their position on not including genetically engineered materials in their products. Greenpeace’s latest GE Free Food Guide reflects a strong ongoing non-GE position, said the environmental group. It also praises Goodman Fielder - Australasia’s largest food company - for its unprecedented anti-GE stance.

30.01.2008 |

New Greenpeace GE-free food guide released

The latest Greenpeace GE Free Food Guide reflects a strong ongoing non-GE position from New Zealand food companies and an unprecedented anti-GE stance from Australasia’s largest food company. Late last year, Goodman Fielder - umbrella company for brands like Edmonds, Meadow Lea, Meadow Fresh and Irvines - spoke out against the lifting of Australian State bans on genetically engineered (GE) food crops, urging all Australian State Premiers and Agriculture Ministers to keep the oilseed crop (canola) GE free.

17.01.2008 |

GE protesters chop down trees at research institute in New Zealand

Nineteen trees, some genetically modified, have been cut down in an apparent protest against Crown forestry research institute Scion. Those responsible for the attack dug under the Rotorua institute’s perimeter fence and left behind a spade with a sticker saying ”GE Free New Zealand”. It is unknown exactly when the attack occurred but the trees were discovered slashed on Monday and police were called.

03.01.2008 |

Safety of GE corn queried by scientist in New Zealand

Uncertainty over the safety of genetically engineered corn has not been reflected in Government announcements, a leading gene scientist believes. [...] University of Canterbury scientist Dr Jack Heinemann, the director of the university’s Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety, has taken issue with the NZFSA. He said the authority had made some ”interesting comments” in its public statements that were inconsistent with the expert opinion it had sought from crown research institute ESR (Environmental Science and Research) on a report by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

27.12.2007 |

Public say on New Zealand’s GE cows trials at risk

An AgResearch plan to move genetically engineered (GE) cattle out of a secure North Island site to other locations around the country may go ahead without the public having their say. The Crown Research Institute is applying to the Environmental Risk Management Authority early next year to expand and develop its eight-year-old programme involving a herd of 96 GE cows at Ruakura, near Hamilton.

20.12.2007 |

GE corn to enter New Zealand’s food chain

netically-engineered corn has been approved to enter the New Zealand food chain. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority today gave the green light for high lysine corn to be imported and sold. ”This corn is used as an animal feed, but it has had its safety assessed as if for human consumption,” said NZFSA director Carole Inkster.

19.10.2007 |

Cloned pine trees failing in New Zealand

New Zealand’s world status as the leader in pine tree cloning could be threatened if scientists can’t solve a problem with some of the ’super trees’ grown in Whakatane. Horizon2, a forestry biotechnology company in the Bay of Plenty, has gone global in its efforts to find out why some of the mother plants from one of its elite pine tree breeding programmes are mysteriously failing. An expert on somatic embryogenesis - the process used to clone the trees - flew in from Ireland to assist the company. Dr David Thompson, will try to work out why some of the mother plants are turning yellow and then becoming so weak that they snap off at ground level.

10.10.2007 |

Scientists urge GM technology use in New Zealand

peaking at a biotechnology workshop at Agresearch’s Ruakura campus on Thursday, Crop and Food Research scientist Dr Tony Conner said uptake of GM technology was increasing worldwide.

”If we don’t adopt this technology then we will be left behind. By 20 years’ time we could fall behind and be a Third World country,” Dr Conner said. GM crops offered higher yields and improved traits like pest resistance, but concern over the technology has prompted opposition to its commercial release in New Zealand.

08.10.2007 |

New Zealand think-tank wants GE food assessment process re-jigged

A Wellington think-tank wants the Government to formally opt out of a trans-Tasman food regulator’s decision to approve for human consumption a corn genetically engineered for use as stockfeed.

It would be ”prudent” for New Zealand to opt out of the decision by an Australian-based ministerial council to accept the LY038 corn as fit for humans, the Sustainability Council of NZ said today. ”New Zealand has the right to stand aside from food safety decisions adopted in Australia,” said the Sustainability Council’s executive director, Simon Terry.

03.10.2007 |

Biosecurity New Zealand hunting genetically modified pink zebra fish

Biosecurity New Zealand is still tracing genetically modified tropical fish that were unwittingly allowed into New Zealand this year. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) officers seized and destroyed some 300 of the zebra danio fish in raids on two Christchurch pet shops and two private premises in July. They had been alerted weeks earlier by concerned members of the public who noticed the zebra danio fish, a breed popular with ornamental fish enthusiasts, for sale on the internet.