GMO news related to New Zealand

26.06.2007 |

GE microbes might reduce methan production in ruminants

But in New Zealand, one-third of these warming gases come from animals, in the form of methane. So researchers are trying something unique to lower New Zealand’s greenhouse-gas hoofprint: They want to change what goes on inside the stomachs of millions of sheep and cows. [...] One strategy used is to genetically engineer the microbes so they won’t make methane. Another is to give the sheep and cows some type of feed that the bugs won’t like.

25.06.2007 |

Future of biopharming in NZ still too early to tell

A Lincoln University study says it is too early to forecast what economic benefits - if any - are to be gained from New Zealand establishing a commercial biopharming industry. Biopharming - the production of pharmaceuticals compounds from genetically modified crops and livestock – is touted by some as an emerging success story in both agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry. Its advocates say biopharming has the potential to dramatically cut the cost of manufacturing compounds used in medicine, food manufacturing and dietary supplements.

11.06.2007 |

GE products skip labelling in New Zealand

A large number of common food products sold in supermarkets contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients the consumer does not know about, food labelling critics say. Food products containing GE protein and DNA must be labelled under Food Standards Authority Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) rules.

11.06.2007 |

The GE debate in New Zealand: does it still matter?

Fitzsimons considers the Erma decision is a classic case of ”sending good money after bad”. ”The main stupidity is it is putting a heap of research and talent down a blind alley.” However, scientists engaged in the work say it is necessary for New Zealand to keep up with GE research, in case modified crops are shown to have definite advantages. Says Crop and Food’s Williams: ”The GE technology we use is a very important research tool worldwide. If New Zealand doesn’t (pursue this), we’ll fall behind. It (GE) gives us options for the future. We don’t know where the research is leading us. It’s important to take the science forward.

06.06.2007 |

New Zealand compensated farmers planting GE contaminated corn

Farmers caught up in last year’s genetically engineered (GE) contaminated corn debacle have all been compensated satisfactorily, Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton said. Mr Anderton told NZPA that negotiations with growers had taken some time because of the number of parties involved and the complexity of some of the claims. He was commenting on claims by National Party Associate Agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy that a group of farmers had been hung out to dry over the contaminated GE corn seeds.

31.05.2007 |

Finding the enemy within

Private investigators acting for a state-owned enterprise have hired spies to infiltrate and undermine protest groups in what’s believed to be a New Zealand first. Ryan is the kind of volunteer community groups dream of: reliable, keen and always offering to help when any jobs need to be done. [...] He has been working on behalf of the state-owned coal mining company Solid Energy and his job is to help undermine the environmental campaign.

30.05.2007 |

ERMA New Zealand places strict controls on GM Brassica test

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA New Zealand) has approved an application by the New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research to field test genetically-modified brassicas in the Lincoln region. However, ERMA New Zealand has included strict controls to manage the risk of GM material escaping from the site.

17.04.2007 |

New Zealand scientist says GE crops don’t live up to promise

Crop and Food Research is being accused of tunnel vision on genetic engineering (GE) by one of its former scientists. Biotechnologist Dr Elvira Dommisse, who worked on the early stages of Crop and Food’s GE onion experiments before the current field trials began, says GE crops have not lived up to their initial promise and the Crown research institute should invest more in conventional plant breeding.

13.04.2007 |

GE brassica trial for South Island (New Zealand)

If Crop and Food get their way there could be a GE field trial involving brassicas at Lincoln in the very near future. The aim of the trial is to assess agronomic performance of vegetables and forage brassicas over 10 years. The vegetables will be modified for resistance to caterpillar pests like cabbage white butterfly and diamond-back moth.

28.03.2007 |

Hands off our genes, say Pacific Islanders

Pacific Islanders are demanding the power to restrict patenting of their human, plant and animal genes, even if they run foul of international patent laws. A new book documents 16 "acrimonious" encounters between scientific researchers and indigenous communities and calls for Pacific states to take a united approach to gaining control over such patents in the region.