GMO news related to New Zealand

02.02.2024 |

ACT's outdated GE policy ignores sound science and the risks

The National and ACT party plan to weaken much needed regulation on GE is unscientific and outdated, putting farmers and our biosecurity at risk.

A recent panui by ACT MP Parmjeet Parmar focuses on a gene edited ryegrass experiment overseas, but doesn't mention that the outdoor trials in the USA for this controversial grass were a failure.

30.01.2024 |

What are GMOs, and are they really changing because of new gene techniques? on Vimeo

Watch the recording of this educational webinar hosted by Soil & Health NZ on 23 January 2024, where we delve into the world of genetic engineering with Professor Jack Heinemann, an expert from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury.

The New Zealand government feels our biosafety rules are leaving NZ behind and believes GMOs are now safer than ever. Professor Heinemann is a genetic engineer with over 30 years of experience. He will share his knowledge of genetic engineering, focusing on the latest advancements. He’ll discuss what risks we should consider with any biotechnology and what makes the latest tools worthy of regulations.

20.07.2020 |

NZ: Call For Politicians To Keep Regulation On Gene Editing

Politicians from all parties are being asked to ensure there are strict regulations on Genetically Engineered Organisms (GE/GMO), including Gene Editing.

There is media hype and exaggeration of the accuracy and safety of Gene Editing (GE) promoted by industry lobbyists and some so-called science organisations. Research shows there are significant risks to New Zealand's bio-security, health, and reputation if Gene Editing is exempted from regulation

"The published science shows we cannot be confident in sweeping claims of precision or safety," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ (in food and environment).

The unexpected collateral effects of Gene E

18.06.2020 |

Council abandons its GMO decision

The Northland Regional Council has reversed last year's decision, made on the casting vote of then chairman Bill Shepherd, not to include provisions to control genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the Coastal Marine Area (CMA) in its proposed regional plan.

The previous council, before October's local body elections, resolved not to include GMO provisions after a long process during which councillors heard and considered expert scientific evidence and feedback from more than 80 submissions over several years.

05.10.2018 |

How should we control the power to genetically eliminate a species?

The power to re-engineer or eliminate wild species using a “gene drive” needs to be brought under international governance, say Simon Terry and Stephanie Howard

(Stephanie Howard and Simon Terry, researchers for the Sustainability Council of New Zealand)

Thanks to a form of genetic engineering technology known as a gene drive, it is now possible to modify or even eliminate a wild species in its natural habitat, bypassing the laws of inheritance that have governed nature for millennia. The power to deliver “extinction to order” is potentially immense – as is the political challenge.

The technology works by driving a gene throughout a population, meaning the plants or animals containing the drives could impact ecosystems that cross not just country borders, but entire continents.

25.05.2018 |

Federated Farmers drop legal action around GMOs

Press Release: The Soil and Health Association of NZ

25 May 2018


Soil & Health celebrates: Federated Farmers drop legal action around GMOs.

Following years of court action for a precautionary approach to genetically modified organisms (GMO), the Soil & Health Association today welcomed Federated Farmers’ decision to drop legal challenges to several local council resource management plans controlling their outdoor use.

Federated Farmers has run a number of cases before the courts challenging the rights of communities in Auckland, the Far North and Whangarei to manage the outdoor use of GMOs within their own districts and regions. The courts continued to find that territorial authorities have the right under the Resource Management Act (RMA) to set their own policies and rules controlling GMO use, a finding that Federated Farmers repeatedly challenged.

18.04.2018 |

Taking 'plants' out of North's GMO policy creates total ban

What a difference a word makes.

Animals are now included in the Northland policy banning trials or growing genetically modified organisms, following a successful court case to toughen up the talk.

After nearly five years of conflict, the latest war of words over the soft precautionary language in the anti-GMO policy came down to deleting just one word - plants.

Last week the Environment Court ruled in favour of Whangarei District Council's (WDC) case against Northland Regional Council's (NRC) precautionary stance in the Regional Policy Statement, agreeing the wording should not specify plants only.

13.04.2018 |

Another win for a GE-free NZ!

The Soil & Health Association welcomes a decision released today by the Environment Court declining Federated Farmers’ attempt to challenge regulation of genetically modified organisms under the RMA.

In the latest case before the Environment Court, Whangarei District Council appealed the Northland Council’s Regional Policy Statement, asking to delete one word – ‘plants’ so that the policy would require a precautionary approach to be adopted towards introducing genetically engineered organisms generally – not just plants – to the environment.

“The court’s decision is a victory for common sense and for the interests of all Northlanders concerned about the possible introduction of GMOs into the environment, whether they be plants, animals, insects or microorganisms,” said Graham Clarke, Soil & Health’s chair.

19.08.2017 |

Glyphosate: Why did the NZ EPA ignore the world authority on cancer?

The New Zealand EPA commissioned its own report which found that glyphosate is “unlikely to be genotoxic or carcinogenic”, a significant departure from IARC’s conclusion

Read the Green Party report featured in the article below, “Why did the NZ EPA ignore the world authority on cancer?”, here.

Prof Alistair Woodward, Prof Andrea t’Mannetje, Dr Dave McLean, Prof Jeroen Douwes, Prof John D Potter

University of Otago, August 16, 2017

11.01.2017 |

GM crops and herbicides: Time to reassess risk assessment methods

New studies published by Nature’s journal Scientific Reports are questioning the basis of how to determine the safety of products used in agriculture and at home

Below is an important commentary on the two recent studies published in Scientific Reports.

The first study showed that GMO maize NK603 is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart.

As Prof Jack Heinemann comments in the article below, “NK603 was engineered to live after being treated with herbicide (e.g. Roundup). Regulatory approvals for cultivation of NK603 date back 17 years and it is approved for cultivation in 13 countries. It is one of the oldest and most widely adopted GM products in history. There should be no surprises from this maize if substantial equivalence is being used effectively to evaluate safety.”