Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Scientists divided over Bio-Pharming ‘nightmare’

Scientists divided over Bio-Pharming ‘nightmare’ call for ban

There is a growing division within the scientific community over the government’s backing of biotechnology industry and its plans to promote “Pharming” of GE plants and animals in this country.

New Zealand scientists from the independent group PSRG (Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics) have today issued a press statement (below) which challenges the claims of industry-backed scientists brought to New Zealand to push Pharming.

The independent New Zealand doctors and scientists warn that release of GEOs will cost NZ, environmentally and economically. PSRG, also reiterate warnings from the British Medical Association and others who believe there is ample evidence to indicate that GE crops pose serious risks to health and environment.

Their warnings contradict the claims of industry-scientists like Dr. Channapatna Prakash and Dr Elspeth McRae (see article below) that New Zealand will benefit from introducing Pharming, and that the risks can be managed.

“Some of their ideas are already backfiring in other countries and the spread of GE pharm crops and animals is clearly a threat to Brand New Zealand,” says Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ in food and environment. “GE animals have accidentally ended up as food, and tonnes of crops destroyed because pharm crops had accidentally spread.

The risks from such projects as producing vaccines in fruit are an even greater nightmare,” says Mr Carapiet.

Dr McRae says that fruit is cheap to produce on a large scale. As it is often eaten raw or with minimal processing, fruit is an ideal way of delivering edible vaccines.

“People already eat fruit for its health benefits, and it is commonly used in the nutraceutical industry. With genetic engineering, we can enhance the vitamin C content of apples or increase folate levels,” she says.

“ This vision or the future is deeply flawed,” says Mr Carapiet. “ Companies must never be allowed to release such organisms outside of containment. The government should ban the commercial release into the environment of any Pharm crops and animals if they are honest about wanting to protect our future.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>