Parliament

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

 

Better ryegrass can be easily achieved without GE

3 March 2005

Better ryegrass can be easily achieved without GE

The Government should be funding Wrightson to speed up its selective breeding of ryegrass, rather than supporting attempts to achieve the same thing through genetic engineering, says Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

Associate Minister of Industry and Regional Development Pete Hodgson announced today that the Australia-New Zealand Biotechnology Partnership Fund is to grant $3 million over three years to Wrightson for the development and commercialisation of GE ryegrass. The program will only use the existing genes of the plant and take place in Australia.

"Some years ago Wrightson developed naturally bred ryegrass that had improved digestibility and more easily converted to meat, and therefore produced less methane, so it isn't necessary to use GE to achieve what they're now trying to do," said Ms Fitzsimons, the Green Party's Genetic Engineering Spokesperson.

"If the company needs to further improve ryegrass they can speed up their selective breeding programme by using their genetic research in the lab to inform and hasten their testing of each offspring for positive traits. This is a much safer, reliable and more market-acceptable path to be taking than genetically modifying the plant.

"It makes little sense to choose a course of action that will greatly restrict the market for your product when a perfectly acceptable alternative to the same outcome is available. Many European countries will not take meat from animals fed with GE grass and no organic meat farmer anywhere will use GE grass because they would loose their certification.

"GE ryegrass also risks contaminating the produce of conventional farmers who want to be GE-Free. More than any other plant, grasses spread pollen and seed far and wide, so it would be impossible to contain even a field trial. Furthermore ryegrass 'outcrosses', so it can pollinate other breeds of grass," said Ms Fitzsimons.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election