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


Greens welcome backtrack on GE sheep-without-wool

AgResearch's backtrack on producing genetically engineered "naked" sheep was welcomed today by Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street.

"This follows backdowns on genetic engineering from other agricultural sectors following publicity by the Green Party," he said today. "For example the kiwifruit and apple industries have now pledged to be GE-free and the Dairy Board is doubting we will see genetically engineered milk, despite earlier board hype about possible advantages of such milk."

Mr Ewen-Street said he was puzzled that the proposed GE sheep-without-wool experiment was still being publicised on AgResearch's website under the heading of "The Peerless Shearless", and promoted by AgResearch with the sentence: "We will report on the options for producing such a wool-less meat sheep, and hold a series of discussions with sheep industry leaders and other stakeholders to inform and interest them about the concept of genetic engineering..." According to Mr Ewen-Street: "AgResearch is one of New Zealand's principal genetic engineers and is pouring taxpayers money into a number of GE schemes without any cost-benefit analysis or comparison to the market benefits of New Zealand instead becoming organic."

Mr Ewen-Street, number three on the Greens' party list, is an organic pastoral farmer based in Marlborough. He will be issuing the Green Party's agriculture and rural affairs policy in Wellington today. The policy calls for an "Organic Nation" by the year 2020. This means having half of New Zealand's production certified organic and GE-free by 2020, and the remainder in the process of conversion. One of the aims of this is to meet the burgeoning worldwide demand for organic produce, which attracts high premiums.

"The irony of the GE sheep-without-wool plan is that one of our candidates in the general election is producing sheep organically which shed their fleeces naturally in the summer but retain them in winter. The sheep are also naturally resistant to internal parasites. We don't need to risk the genetic engineering pathway, to improve our farming practices," Mr Ewen-Street said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels