GMO news related to New Zealand

01.10.2013 |

New Zealand Greens: GM food not properly labelled

Consumers are not being given full information on food labels about whether the product they are buying has been processed with genetically modified organisms, the Green Party says.

24.09.2013 |

New Zealand: Tighter rules for GMO in Auckland

An Auckland councillor says if any genetically modified material was released into the environment it would be very damaging to New Zealand's reputation. Auckland councillors have decided to propose stricter rules on GM trials in the region. They are designed to increase protection for food-producing regions and vineyards, and protect local government from the potential costs of a genetically modified organism outbreak.

03.07.2013 |

New Zealand growing support for new generation GM

Just as the next wave of genetically modified crops is making its way to market overseas, two councils in Northland have announced their intention to impose tighter controls on the technology.

The Far North and Whangarei District councils say changes they propose would force the users of genetically modified organisms to apply for resource consent, publicly notify their projects and post sizeable bonds to cover any clean-up.

28.06.2013 |

New Zealand seeking stricter rules for GMOs

The Government appears likely to block attempts by councils to set stricter rules on genetically modified organisms which are designed to increase protection for food-producing regions and vineyards.

15.04.2013 |

Scientists accuse Science Media Centre (New Zealand) of bias in biosafety issues

Scientists are accusing the Science Media Centre of bias after it neglected to publish their views on a potentially risky food safety practice. The government-funded agency has helped hundreds of the country’s journalists communicate the trickiest science matters of the day to the public and promotes itself as “bias-free”. But a group of scientists is now questioning its impartiality on GM issues. They want to know:

- Why the comments of two Australian scientists who made personal attacks on the credibility of the researchers were published online by the centre.

- Why their own subsequent statements supporting the controversial research were ignored by the centre and not posted on its website.

- Why the centre’s web coverage of an agri-biotech conference last year only featured “selected” media items supportive of GM technologies.

19.03.2013 |

Whangarei District Council (New Zealand) proposes rules to manage GM crop risks

Introducing a robust, legal way for local government to manage the risks posed by outdoor use of genetically modified organisms is a step closer following a decision by Whangarei District Council’s District Living Committee. The Committee has decided, in principle, to proceed with changes to its District Plan, drafted by the Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options led by WDC Team Leader - Futures Planning, Dr Kerry Grundy. A study by the working party of Northland and Auckland councils provided evidence that outdoor use of GMOs poses significant environmental, economic and socio-cultural risks to communities and local government and could and should be controlled through councils’ District Plans.

19.03.2013 |

Potential GM fungus outbreak at Lincoln University in New Zealand

The Government is investigating a potential outbreak of genetically modified fungus at Lincoln University. Two secured laboratories and a greenhouse have been locked down as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) checks the biological scare. Lincoln University researchers informed MPI and the Environmental Protection Agency on March 7 that it had evidence to suggest a fungus (Beauveria bassiana) supplied for research was potentially a strain modified genetically to include a marker so it could be traced in plants. The fungus had been believed to have been a “wild strain” that is already present in the environment and so was being researched outside approved genetically modified containment facilities.

05.02.2013 |

North New Zealand councils to consider prohibiting commercial outdoor uses of GMOs

Councils to consider prohibiting commercial outdoor uses of GMOs in Northland and Auckland and requiring consents for outdoor field trials

An inter-council working party, representing all local authorities in Northland and Auckland, has recommended to member councils that they consider regulating the outdoor use of GMOs under the Resource Management Act through provisions in their planning documents. This would involve inserting objectives, policies and rules in existing district plans in Northland and in Auckland Council’s new Unitary Plan prohibiting the release of genetically modified organisms to the environment and making field trialing of GMOs a discretionary activity, subject to strict liability conditions for any environmental or economic harm that may eventuate.

23.01.2013 |

New Zealand scientist justifiably sacked over flowering GM ryegrass

A senior government scientist who intentionally allowed genetically modified ryegrass plants to flower and potentially release pollen was justifiably sacked, the Employment Relations Authority has found. Igor Kardailsky was dismissed from his job at AgResearch’s Grasslands facility in Palmerston North in July after the Crown research institute decided his actions breached Ministry for Primary Industry regulations and could have caused a serious risk to biosecurity, the environment or public health. Dr Kardailsky claimed he was unjustifiably dismissed.

09.01.2013 |

New Zealand King Salmon vows to destroy GE salmon material

NZ King Salmon is watching developments with genetically modified salmon in the United States but says it intends to get rid of its GM salmon material. [...] Marlborough-based Green Party list MP Steffan Browning said though New Zealand had no connection with the Canadian-designed fish, genetically modified salmon had been tested in New Zealand years ago. That experiment had been abandoned, but King Salmon had told him the company still had the GM salmon material in storage, he said. "It's quite concerning in a way because this is a company being given clear government assistance to expand. "It would be good to hear them say they wouldn't use GM salmon in the waters of the Marlborough Sounds, let alone anywhere else in New Zealand."

King Salmon aquaculture manager Mark Preece said the company had had a "small-scale research project into growth-enhanced salmon" during the late 1990s, but that was never pursued.

The company still had some material from that programme held in secure storage off-site but had no plans to use it, he said.

"There is a long and involved process to dispose of it requiring public notification, which we plan to apply for in due course."

Primarily for competitive reasons, King Salmon always kept an eye on what was going on in the industry so it would be interested to see what came from AquAdvantage's application to the US authorities, Mr Preece said.