Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


G E Debate

24 October 2001

G E Debate

The Government’s decision on the royal Commission’s Report on Genetic Engineering is in danger of being hijacked by emotion and political manoeuvring. Christian Heritage urges open and free discussion of all aspects.

Genetic Engineering covers two broad fields:

1. Transgenics – this is the transfer of genetic material from one species into another to achieve a particular characteristic.
2. ‘Gene Marker’ technology – by identifying the gene combination for a particular trait, and the use of DNA tests to verify its presence, the selection process can be hastened.

Christian Heritage continues to be concerned about the implications of both these developments. The new genetic material introduced by transgenics may combine with the host’s genes to produce negative traits.

The main concern with gene marker technology is that if used extensively for one particular trait, the genetic base of the species will be narrowed, limiting the ability of breeders to counter negative traits.

“Transgenics obviously is not a natural process, whereas it could be argued that Gene Marker technology could simply enhance normal breeding programmes, “ Grant Bradfield, Christian Heritage’s Agricultural Spokesperson said.

“Further,” he said, “the other major issue is that of marketing. We have an export based agricultural industry and farmers have had it drummed into them that the customer is always right even when they are wrong! We cannot afford to put ourselves offside by the use of technology that is abhorrent to the customer. The European market is showing considerable resistance to G E products whereas America is quite accepting.

“There are tremendous opportunities to increase production but also major pitfalls. Christian Heritage believes that Government is correct to show caution, but that decisions should be made on facts,” Mr Bradfield concluded.

In the light of current knowledge Mr Bradfield recommends:

1. That transgenics be banned from the agricultural export industry.

2. That the export industry be more forthcoming in explaining the wishes of the market place so that industry wide decisions can be made.

3. That we uphold our clean, green untampered marketing image.

4. That we have mandatory labelling for all G E products.

5. That efforts be made to maintain the genetic diversity of our farming species.

6. That mandatory testing of G E organisms for negative traits be compulsory before their release.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news