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

 

Unauthorised GM petunias may be in New Zealand

Unauthorised GM petunias may be in New Zealand


MPI has taken action after an overseas recall on unauthorised genetically modified (GM) petunias.

Several varieties of GM petunias have been reported in Europe, USA and Australia and are being recalled by regulatory authorities there.

MPI Director Plants, Food and Environment, Peter Thomson, says MPI has identified potentially affected seeds from one importer in New Zealand and has sent them for testing in an MPI-approved laboratory overseas. We’re currently waiting for the results to come back but we feel there are sufficient parallels with what’s going on elsewhere in the world for us to take pre-emptive action.

“There is negligible biosecurity risk from these seeds and no risk to people or the environment. However, New Zealand has strict controls around genetically modified organisms (new organisms). It is illegal to import, develop, field test or release a genetically modified organism without approval. MPI is an enforcement agency for new organisms.

“We have no evidence to suggest the GM material was deliberately brought into New Zealand. The importer concerned was unaware of the GM content of these seeds and, as soon as they became aware of the possibility, they contacted MPI. We applaud them for that.

“This is a global situation, many other countries are dealing with the same issue and MPI is working closely with our overseas counterparts. It seems that no authorities anywhere in the world were aware that these varieties of petunia contained or were bred with GM plant material.

“We are instituting new actions at the border. All Petunia species imported as plants or seeds will require a GMO certificate stating they are GM free before being allowed to enter New Zealand.

“Given that it’s winter, it is unlikely there are many plants currently in circulation and the risk of these plants becoming established is negligible. Petunias are often grown as annuals, so they complete their life cycle in one year. They also do not set seed efficiently, so their ability to grow in the wild, shed seeds and spread is negligible.”

Mr Thomson says MPI is working with industry to trace and destroy all seed stock and unsold plants existing in New Zealand.

“We have made it clear to businesses holding the suspected GM petunia varieties that they must not be sold, and therefore will have to be taken off the market. While these plants and seeds do not present a risk, they do not have regulatory approval, this means it is an offence to knowingly plant or otherwise propagate them. Any existing stock will be destroyed.

The varieties identified as GM and currently known to have been imported into New Zealand are marketed under the names African Sunset (an orange-flowered variety), Trilogy Red (also known as Diva Red) and Trilogy Deep Purple (also known as Diva Deep Purple).

Anyone who may have purchased petunias with these variety names are advised to remove the plants from their garden and dispose of them in their domestic / household rubbish. Any seeds or unplanted seedlings can be disposed of the same way. We ask that the public not dispose of plant material or seeds in compost or green waste.

A number of other varieties around the world are also known to be GM. For more detail visit
http://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

An Open Letter To Readers: Crunch Time For Scoop.co.nz

Scoop provides two quality professional services for free to 1000s of NZ businesses and organisations:

#1. Reliable easily accessible access to professionally curated news intelligence information in real time;

#2. Free open access to publish press releases in a high profile manner.

It is now Crunch Time for Scoop.co.nz. With less than 2 weeks to go Scoop needs $23,500 in sales and donations to reach its PledgeMe Crowd-funding and Crowd-Selling target. For Scoop’s professional users it is also Crunch Time, and time to make a decision. More>>

Pledge In Scoop's Crowdsale and Crowdfunding Campaign!

 

Two Weeks Of Strikes: Midwives Kick Off Industrial Action

DHB-employed midwives are striking for two hours, twice a day, over a two-week period through to 5 December. In all, 540 strike notices have been issued by MERAS, the midwives’ union, to the 20 DHBs. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On NZ’s Complicity In Western Sahara

If David Parker really wants to hone his crisis-managing chops on an international trade dispute that New Zealand has been making worse for years, he maybe should be turning his attention to the Western Sahara... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral with Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting to launch into matters of genuine substance. More>>

ALSO:

Withdrawls After Police Uniform Ban: Auckland Pride Remains Committed

The Auckland Pride Board remains committed to creating a space for our rainbow communities to feel safe celebrating their gender and sexual identity, despite some institutions pulling out from the Parade in recent days. More>>

ALSO:

South Korea: State Visit By Korean President Moon Jae-In

The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in will visit New Zealand from 2 to 4 December... “I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Moon to New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels