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

 


Benefits Seen in GM Onion Trial

2 November 2003
PR 219/2003
Benefits Seen in GM Onion Trial

Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) will this week back an application from a government-owned research company to field test onions genetically modified to tolerate a common herbicide.

Hugh Ritchie, the federation's spokesman on genetic modification (GM), said the application by the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Ltd will build on research already underway and has potential to benefit producers, consumers and the environment.

Mr Ritchie is chairman of the Grains Council, an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), a voluntary organisation with more than 18,000 members.

"Federated Farmers considers the proposed field trial presents the most negligible risk possible for this type of work," Mr Ritchie said. "It will also generate valuable information in the context of New Zealand agriculture." A public hearing by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) starts Monday (November 3) to consider the application to plant onions modified for tolerance to glyphosate, a low toxicity, biodegradable herbicide.

Though farmers see potential advantages in GM technology, there must be controls to ensure that other agriculture is not put at risk, said Mr Ritchie.

"We consider the containment procedures put in place by Crop & Food Research are sufficient to manage any risk of escape," Mr Ritchie said.

Mr Ritchie plans to appear before the ERMA hearing in Christchurch to give oral evidence in support of the federation's written submission presented earlier this year.

"Glyphosate-resistant onions have potential to reduce herbicide use on onions by 70 percent. Current practices can require up to 30 spray passes on one crop, using around 13 different herbicides. Many of these substances are classified as toxic or poisonous and persistent in the environment.

"By using modified onions it will be possible to control weeds with only two or three applications. This is better for the environment and for growers concerned about risks from exposure to more toxic herbicides," Mr Ritchie said.

According to ERMA, the application is the first to field test a genetically modified plant received by the authority since the New Zealand Forest Research Institute applied to field test modified trees three years ago.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news