Parliament

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

 

Greens Say NZ Importing Glow-In-The-Dark GE Mice

Mice that glow in the dark are to be used for medical experiments in New Zealand, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons revealed today.

The University of Otago has received permission from the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) to import five breeding pairs of mice which glow green under ultra-violet light. A fluorescent gene from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria has been inserted into every cell in the mice, causing them to emit the green light. The trait will be passed on to the majority of their offspring.

ERMA has also allowed the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington to import and breed three strains of mice which contain a firefly gene. While the whole mouse doesn't glow, the activation of the immune system will cause specific cells to give off light.

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington has received approval to import and breed 61 other strains of genetically altered mice, who have had genes either added or knocked out. Co-leader of the Green Party, Jeanette Fitzsimons, said that there were ethical issues involved in breeding strains with genes knocked to make them susceptible to disease. "There are major animal rights issues here which haven't even been put before the public for discussion." Ms Fitzsimons said that the public had the right to know what was going on behind closed laboratory doors. "We are introducing strains of mice who are susceptible to disease into our country. No-one knows what the eventual outcome of tinkering with their immune systems. While I accept that the research will contribute to our medical knowledge, we need to look at health from a wider perspective."

Ms Fitzsimons questioned what would happen to the domestic mouse population if the transgenic mice did manage to escape.

"ERMA admits that the most likely outcome of escape would be the pollution of the wild mouse gene pool with Green Fluorescent Protein. The possibility of polluting any gene pool is something we have to take extremely seriously.

"After months of sitting on a select committee to consider the new animal welfare bill, I have discovered that animals produced through genetic engineering, like fluorescent mice, are outside the scrutiny of the animal welfare legislation. Because the genetic transfer is done on a cell, not a whole animal, the welfare of the resulting abnormal animal does not trigger the provisions of the act."


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels