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GM Discussion : October 6, 2003

GM Discussion : October 6, 2003

1. Biocontrol wasp adds lethal virus to pests
2. ViaLactia rejects unfounded claims
3. Legalising GM soy the best option for Brazil
4. Scientists recreate HIV ancestor for vaccine
5. Skeptical Environmentalist to visit capital
6. EU forms legislation for GM seeds
7. Biotenz News Update - 3 October 2003
8. Plant scientists question Mexican GM corn study

Biocontrol wasp adds lethal virus to pests
A parasitic wasp that injects its eggs into the leek moth - a serious agricultural pest - also adds a lethal virus that stops the moth’s immune system from harming the eggs, according to a new study....

ViaLactia rejects unfounded claims
ViaLactia has rejected claims by MADGE that it has purchased patent rights to human DNA from an Australian genetics company."ViaLactia is not using human DNA in research," said Dr Colin South, Chi...

Legalising GM soy the best option for Brazil
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said the government's decision to legalize the planting and sale of genetically modified soybeans was the best option. Brazil has been one of ...

Scientists recreate HIV ancestor for vaccine
Scientists in Auckland and Seattle have recreated part of the original ancestor of the HIV virus in an attempt to make a vaccine to stop the virus spreading. Although still in the early stages, th...

Skeptical Environmentalist to visit capital
With cruel rains and unforgiving storms walloping much of the country over the past week, the average New Zealander might be forgiven for wondering what has become of the much-ballyhooed greenhouse ef...

EU forms legislation for GM seeds
Legislation has been formulated by the European Union (EU) specifically for genetically modified (GM) seeds, Crop Biotech Update reports.All GM seed varieties have to be approved and authorized fo...

Biotenz News Update - 3 October 2003
The latest issue of Biotenz News Update has been posted to the Biotenz website Index:Fonterra Revamp Creates New BusinessesNatural Products: A Mainstay of BiotechnologyWaikato Professor R...

Plant scientists question Mexican GM corn study
In 2002 University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor Ignacio Chapela published a paper in Nature, which he coauthored with one of his graduate students, David Quist.In the paper, Quist...

On the subject of that billboard, the latest tactic by Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in their fight against GE, interactive website Flipside asked the question: ‘Do shock tactics like this one turn you against protest groups like the MAdGE one?’

The poll result shows we are a pretty open minded bunch, but still more than half of 340 survey respondents were turned off by the image.

See the final poll result at Click here,2359,225567-212-223,00.html

It’s also heartening to see people have been moved enough by the sickening image to make their disgust public, in writing to their local papers and responding to other news media carrying the story:

I am utterly disgusted by the naked woman billboard created by Mothers Against Genetic Engineering. Women have fought long and hard to stop the use of the female body to sell products or images, yet Madge is doing precisely that.

The model who spreads naked on the bonnet of a red racing car might be pleased with the image, just as the model of this billboard is said to be, but that doesn’t excuse this demeaning portrayal of femininity.

On top of that, this is an example of extremely bad science. As a teacher of biology, I am daily attempting to instill in young women the importance of objectivity and knowledge-based, substantiated opinion.

Billboards like that do nothing to encourage educated and constructive debate about genetic modification, but only inflame and obstruct the real issues.

Ayelet Cohen, The Dominion Post, 4 October 2003

And this feedback to the Scoop website:

I take issue with the pervasive banner ads and photo of the GE billboard depicting a "modified" nude woman. That picture would be viewed as offensive in many organisations whose staff look to Scoop for news info during the day.

If Scoop is truly "fiercely independent" then I expect to see some balance from organisations supporting a moderate approach to GE.

From my perspective the GE debate so far fails to recognise the real impact of GE on the ordinary citizen. For example:

Reduced prices for a wide range of food and other commodity prices due to more efficiency and less intervention in the development of products.

100 years of GE in the development of higher producing sheep and cattle has given NZ its favoured economic status in the world.

The agricultural industry is NZ's highest performance industry sector with more consistent growth than any other sector. That is almost solely due to selective breeding, or GE.



From the LSN news team

Francis Wevers - Executive Director
Christine Ross - Communications Assistant, Wellington

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