Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Blood Donors Must Consent Before DNA Added

Blood Donors Must Consent Before DNA Added To Animals

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said revelations that a woman's DNA had been taken from a blood sample and used to create transgenic sheep without her consent had serious implications for blood donors.

PPL Therapeutics have said DNA which has now been inserted into a flock of genetically engineered sheep in the Waikato probably came from a blood sample given in the 1980s by a 22 year old Danish woman. She had never been told what her DNA had been used for.

Ms Fitzsimons today said that using blood products for projects without the donor's consent was hardly conducive to raising the current shortfall of blood donors in New Zealand.

"Most people when they give blood expect it will be used to help people who need a transfusion to help them back to health," she said. "If they understand that their genes may be inserted into animals by a private company for corporate profit, they may be reluctant to continue giving blood."

"This is not a one off case. ERMA has recently indicated that a decision will soon be announced on whether to allow an experiment in which human genes will be added to cattle at Ruakura," she said. "This raises the question of where the human genes will come from and whether consent was given.

"It also raises difficult moral and ethical questions which the Royal Commission into genetic engineering will address. We feel this decision should be put on hold pending the outcomes of the Royal Commission," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"Until we as a nation have decided whether inserting human genes into animals is morally and ethically acceptable the Greens believe no further approvals for these experiments should be granted."

Ms Fitzsimons said the case of the woman's genes being used to create transgenic animals without her consent raised issues previously confined to the realm of science fiction.

"How many of this woman's genes would these sheep have to have before these animals could, say, contest her will on the basis of inheritance?" asked Ms Fitzsimons.

Jeanette Fitzsimons will be asking question number 11 in the House on this issue today.

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661, 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages