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


Research Into Transgenic DNA Contamination Urged

4 July 2002

PSRG Urges Research Into Transgenic DNA Contamination

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics endorse the call by the newly launched Sustainability Council of New Zealand to put in place of the current period of restraint a five-year moratorium on the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment.

PSRG also urge government to instigate independent research before allowing any commercial plantings of genetically engineered (GE) plants.

Agriculture has witnessed the spread of engineered traits: e.g. chemically-resistant weeds and insects (USDA) and contaminated export seed (Quest). Unapproved transgenic traits have been found in human food products (StarLink). Monsanto and Aventis acknowledge that the last three US growing seasons may have seen seed planted that was contaminated with unapproved DNA.

Plants are being engineered to produce pharmaceuticals. For example, the US biotechnology company, Epicyte, has isolated genes which regulate the manufacture of a rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm(1) and has engineered the genes into corn to produce a contraceptive. Independent research must ask if such DNA can contaminate food crops.

The European Union has banned Canadian honey imports because producers cannot guarantee honey free of GE contamination. Researchers claim contamination has cost Canadian beekeepers and organic farmers millions of dollars(2) and that GE pollen can be carried up to 25 km on Prairie winds.

Independent research into the transfer of engineered DNA is urgently needed.

(226 words)

References: (1) GM corn set to stop man spreading his seed, Robin McKie, science editor, Observer, 9-9-01; www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4253102,00.html. (2) Genetic threats blowin' in the wind: Scientists warn modified crops are escaping and going rogues' Margaret Munro, National Post, 7 June 2002; J. Nature Biotechnology June 2002. Phillips et al, University of Saskatchewan.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>


Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>


Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>


Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>


Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>




InfoPages News Channels