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


Warning on NZ GE animals: avian flu jumps to human

Warning on NZ GE animals as avian flu jumps to humans

The first indications that avian flu in Asian countries may have transferred via human-to-human contact is a wake-up call to regulators that transgenic experiments could open similar avenues for disease in New Zealand.

GE Free New Zealand in food and environment is calling for a moratorium on the insertion of human genes in any animal in genetic engineering experiments, until the increasing scientific and ethical concerns are resolved.

The first possible crossings of avian flu from human to human signal that the use of human genes in animals could bring serious risks to the public and that these risks could far outweigh any unproven benefit to science.

The government's first responsibility is to the population it serves, any kow-towing to corporate commercial interests now commonly behind all GE research is neither responsible nor appropriate.

A survey by the recently set-up government advisory body- the Bio-Ethics Committee -shows that the great majority of people are concerned about the use of human genes in cattle and sheep already occurring in NZ.

Despite the concerns that new diseases could emerge as a result, containment has been limited to open fields with little or no monitoring done to test the unexpected effects of the experiments on soil or the animals. Calls for scientific samples to be taken from thousands of transgenic sheep currently being destroyed have fallen on deaf ears, despite the flock being a vital resource to scientists.

The use of human genes in animals in New Zealand began in the mid 1990s with PPL Therapeutics experiments with sheep. The UK based company fearing a backlash after mad cow disease, came to New Zealand where "the regulations were lax and the land cheap" (Sunday Times 9.1.2000)

The research into a possible cure for cystic fibrosis abruptly ceased when the product failed preliminary clinical trials and PPL, in financial trouble, were taken over. Most of the 3000 sheep produced with human genes are now set for slaughter, but it is uncertain as to who is footing the bill for the slaughter and disposal.

© 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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news