GMO news related to New Zealand

21.02.2007 |

New Zealand’s Food Safety Minister seeks a Ministerial Council review of GM corn approval

A number of groups have raised concerns with Food Safety Minister Annette King about the proposed approval of genetically modified high lysine corn LY038, and as a result she has requested that the Ministerial Council seek a review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) proposal to approve the corn.

20.02.2007 |

Auckland Regional Council (New Zealand) adopts anti-GMO policy position

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) today voted to oppose the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in field and food in the Auckland region. The Council does not, however, oppose creating GMOs in laboratories for medical purposes. ARC Regional Strategy and Planning Chair Paul Walbran says the Council adopted the policy in principle as a precautionary approach because there are significant uncertainties about GMOs, and issues that are yet to be understood and resolved.

19.02.2007 |

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (New Zealand) claim over GE cron

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has tried to invoice a US seed supply company for the costs of a genetically engineered (GE) sweetcorn importation blunder, despite admitting its border procedures were not up to scratch.

08.02.2007 |

New attack on GM food safety testing standards in New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand regulators are failing to resist an audacious bid by GM plant developers to have them abandon a fundamental principle of food safety testing. The internationally accepted baseline for assessing the safety of a GM food is to conduct studies that consistently compare it with the closest non-GM relative. Such a ‘comparator’ is considered the standard because of its long history of safe use as a food for people.

02.02.2007 |

New Zealand"s records fail to keep up with seed imports

The nation’s biosecurity system of checking seed imports at the border is being manipulated, says a former secretary of the Justice Department. David Oughton, who was called in to run an inquiry into how two consignments of seed contaminated with genetically engineered seed entered the country late last year, said yesterday the manipulations were not from any ulterior motive ”but merely to clear the records”. He said biosecurity computer records showed 30 corn consignments during the past 12 months with incomplete records.

01.02.2007 |

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (New Zealand) releases imported corn seed report

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Director-General Murray Sherwin today released the final report by David Oughton into the circumstances associated with the imports of genetically modified corn seeds in late 2006. The report Inquiry into the Circumstances Associated with the Imports of Certain Corn Seeds in Late 2006 was commissioned by the Director-General to examine how two consignments of Zea Mays seeds entered New Zealand during October and November 2006 with accompanying genetic modification (GM) testing certificates which indicated conflicting test results. All crops have now been destroyed.

31.01.2007 |

Christchurch (New Zealand) venue for GM Brassica hearing

Christchurch will be the venue for an ERMA New Zealand Authority hearing on a Crop and Food Research application to field test four genetically modified brassica species. ERMA New Zealand Chief Executive, Rob Forlong, said the hearing would begin on 11 April at the Millennium Hotel in Christchurch.

08.01.2007 |

ArborGen, Scion sign deal to benefit global forestry, develop new bio-based products

ArborGen LLC and Crown Research Institute Scion of New Zealand have signed a multi-million dollar partnership deal in a move that will build significant biomaterials expertise and benefit the productivity of plantation forestry worldwide. ArborGen based in Summerville, S.C., and Scion, based in Rotorua, New Zealand, have signed a research and development agreement to focus on the areas of gene discovery and molecular breeding for forest trees.

27.12.2006 |

NZ firm winning race to fight depression

A small New Zealand company says it is winning a worldwide race to extract a brain acid from algae which may provide a remedy for depression. Henderson-based Photonz, backed by The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall, is producing micro-organisms which generate eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), one of the two omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids normally found in fish which eat the algae. [...] e Australian Government had put more than $10 million in the past year into a plan to genetically engineer terrestrial plants to produce EPA and DHA, and the European group BASF and academic groups in Europe, America and Australia were also working on it, he said.

20.12.2006 |

Most GE-contaminated corn now destroyed

All but about 50ha of the sweetcorn crops grown with seed contaminated with genetically engineered seeds in the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions has been destroyed. Biosecurity officials last week ordered 258.4ha of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne sweetcorn crops planted with 1807kg of contaminated seed to be harrowed, with the growing plants chopped and buried.