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

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news