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

 


NZ Courts Disaster With GE Fodder Crops

NZ Courts Disaster With GE Fodder Crops While Existing Solutions Ignored by AgResearch (http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20140320.htm)


The announcement by AgResearch that they are seeking in the near future to field test GE fodder crops that contain high levels of "blockbuster" traits, is short sighted and poses a threat to farmers and exporters.

New Zealand has already completed robust research into fodder crops that contain condensed tannins and lipids. These crops are already being grown in New Zealand and include forage grasses and legumes such as trefoil, sulla, a large variety of clovers and lucerne. Research has shown that they not only boost milk production but reduce the worm load and methane emissions. [1]

AgResearch's experiment with GE rye grass is twenty years too late, because conventionally bred forages with these benefits are already on the market, and benefiting farmers today. AgResearch is doing nothing that selective breeding has not already delivered but their GE research brings disadvantages of loss of farmer sovereignty over their land and enforces the life long yoke of technology agreements of biotech seed corporations. New Zealand farmers will be left to manage soil degradation, weed and pest resistance and low yields, as has occurred overseas.

"It is alarming that AgResearch spends 25% of its funding money on costly genetic engineering research instead of supporting alternatives that have real benefit to farmers and consumers," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"This research does not preserve the opportunity of farmers to stay GE-free and has the added cost of patents that make the seed very expensive. Are the research organisations willing to bear the cost of court action for contamination of the country side and loss of exports, or will the GE ryegrass contain the sterility gene that will destroy the ability of rye seed to produce a second generation?"

The GE fodder crop offers no new solution or benefit to New Zealand, but substantial risks. Any hint of GE-fed animals has the potential to collapse the export market to Europe and Japan as there is strong consumer rejection of GE foods as well as products from animals raised on GE feed.

Farmers can benefit right now from mixed pastures of rye, cox foot and tall fescue grasses that confer drought tolerance as well as naturally containing high levels sugars and both saturated and unsaturated lipids [2]. Leys containing plantain and chickory with the mixed grasses and legumes can provide a balanced and healthy pasture for stock without the risks of GE crops.

Today, grass fed animals have diets high in Omega fatty acids and Vitamin E than grain fed animals. This is because omega-3 (linoleic and linolenic acid) fatty acids and Vitamin E are formed in the green leaves (specifically the chloroplasts) of the pastures plants. Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or LNA. [3].

Red clover containing condensed tannins and lipids has been shown in published studies to have a positive effect on rumen development that leads to higher milk and meat production without the need to be genetically engineered [4].

"For farmers to provide a balanced diet for their animals, and to be resilient to drought, the solution is to grow a diversity of forages and pasture. It is time that the AgResearch stopped funding an unwanted and failing technology that ignores research that has identified the best mix of grasses."

To date millions has been spent trying to find a magic bullet "GE" solution to controlling nature and the commons but nothing has come close to existing non-GE diverse solutions. These are already providing the 'blockbuster' nutrition for animals which AgResearch is claiming to be trying to develop.

References

[1] Mountfort M., (2003) Methane mitigation Dairy Exporter; p56.

[2] Daley C., Abbott A., Doyle P., Nader G and Larson S.(2010) A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 10. Published online 2010 March 10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. Synopsis by NZPA - http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/study-finds-grass-fed-cows-produce-healthier-milk-123936

[3] Miri P s., Bittman s., Hunt D., Entz T and Yip B., 2006 Lipid content and fatty acid composition of grasses sampled on different dates through the early part of the growing season Can. J. Anim. Sci. 86: 279–290.

[4] Halmemies-Beauchet-Filleau A, Vanhatalo A, Toivonen V, Heikkilä T, Lee MR, Shingfield KJ. Effect of replacing grass silage with red clover silage on ruminal lipid metabolism in lactating cows fed diets containing a 60:40 forage-to-concentrate ratio. J Dairy Sci. 2013 Sep;96(9):5882-900. doi: 10.3168/jds.2013-6872. Epub 2013 Jul 10.


ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#Kexit: Prime Minister John Key Announces Resignation

Prime Minister John Key has announced that he’s resigning as Prime Minister in seven days’ time. He made the unexpected announcement at a 12.45 press conference at Parliament, called with less than an hour’s notice.

“It has been an enormous privilege to be Prime Minister of New Zealand, and these last eight years have been an incredible experience. Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love...“ More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

 

Q+A: Labour's Michael Wood Wins Mt Roskill

Labour’s Michael Wood, who last night won a 6,000 vote majority in the Mt Roskill by-election, says the reason for the win was simple, clear messaging... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Anne Tolley’s Callous Folly

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

ALSO:

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news