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


GE Cows Threaten NZ Dairy Industry

GE Cows Threaten NZ Dairy Industry: Minister Must Use call-in Powers

AgResearch's deal to grow GE Cows for pharmaceuticals will meet with huge public opposition as it is a threat to our Dairy industry's international reputation which could cost the country millions.

The proposal is totally contrary to the findings of the Royal Commission on GM that our dairy herd should not be used like this. There is also a financial cloud over the company involved that could leave New Zealand exposed to huge costs if, like previous ventures, the deal ends in bankruptcy.

The plan to produce GE cows is equally unacceptable in the light of the national debate on the GE issue and how the technology should be used in ways that reflect the nation's values and ethics. The Government must act, even if it has to use Ministerial call-in powers under the HSNO Act to stop it.

If the Government allow the AgResearch deal to go through they will be willingly endangering our marketing reputation and record of scientific excellence that New Zealand has built up over years.

It is especially concerning that the deal involves a Dutch company that bought some of the Intellectual Property rights off now-bankrupt from PPL who ran thousands of GE sheep in the North Island until the company collapsed.

Under existing law PPL's bankruptcy has left the New Zealand public to pay for any clean-up of land contaminated by the PPL sheep. The land remains untested despite concerns that genetic material remains and could negatively impact future use.

The Minister of Crown Insitutes should stop AgResearch from making this deal, and if he cannot, the Minister of the Environment - using call-in powers under the HSNO Act - should it.

The decision to go into partnership with Pharming NV, itself recently in receivership shows that AgResearch and other CRI's have totally sold out to the flawed myth that NZ is desperate for GE products when the opposite is the case.

"When the country's largest CRI has to enter into partnership with a company that is just trading out of receivership something is terribly wrong," says Clare Bleakely from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

AgResearch is also threatening our international marketing image just to try and prove that GE is viable. The cruel and inhumane factory pharming of GE cows to produce a product that can already be naturally isolated from cows milk whey is outrageous and our farmers already a lucrative market selling the natural version.

Pharming NV is reported to have filed for voluntarily receivership in 2001 due to patent violations. After a settlement was made, its C1 inhibitor assets were sold to US biotech company Genzyme, and since then it has been trading out of receivership. In 2004 Pharming NV acquired PPL’s patent portfolio rights including key product and technology.

"We are concerned the history of bankruptcy will be repeated and the taxpayer will end up carrying the costs of damage,' says Clare Bleakley.

"PPL was AgResearch’s previous partner, but in March 2004 its venture failed leaving New Zealand with 500 acres in the Waikato without any funding for testing or cleaning up of contaminated land".

"It is unacceptable if PPL has done a deal, crying bankruptcy, so it does not have to pay out to shareholders and pay clean up costs for its land" Claire Bleakley President of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment. "It is an outrage that AgResearch has not done due diligence by looking at safety studies and seem to be hoping to escape through a loop hole by putting it on the market as a supplement" she said.

The last time an untested GE supplement was put on the market and caused problems 36 people died and 1500 were permanently disabled. It cost the company involved billions of dollars in payouts to victims who had consumed their brand of GE L-tryptophan and developed eosinophylia myalgic syndrome.



Pharming announces partnership with

agresearch for human lactoferrin, License for Protein Production Technology Granted to AgResearch, Leiden, The Netherlands, June 30, 2005 http://www.pharming.com



To date there has been no data peer reviewed and published understanding why the AgResearch human gene in cow experiment for Multiple sclerosis Myelin Basic Protein (MBP), Lactoglubulin minus and PPL GE Cystic fibrosis human alpha anti–trypsin (hAAT) sheep failed.

However annual reports show that the GE animals suffered weakened immune systems, birth defects, birth rates of 5%, low fecundity, and were more susceptible to pathogenic diseases.

There have been no GE milk products on the market due to problems at human clinical trials. Studies on Myelin basic protein failed phase III trials because subjects had a significant deterioration of their lesions, worsening their symptoms. Trials on the hAAT gene for cystic fibrosis were halted due to wheezing to subjects. To date the lactoferrin has only undergone animal toxicology studies not any clinical trials. (3)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


P Policy: $15m Allocated To Tackling Drug Abuse

Almost $15 million dollars seized from criminals will be invested in anti-drug initiatives, with more funding for Police and Customs and a greater focus on treatment for drug abusers, Prime Minister John Key says. More>>


More Or Less Democratic Countries: Fiji Prime Minister To Visit NZ

“This will be Prime Minister Bainimarama’s first official visit to New Zealand as Fiji’s Prime Minister,” Mr Key says. “New Zealand and Fiji have strong ties in a range of areas, and the Prime Minister’s visit presents a further opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest.” More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news