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


Warning for Wrightson's over Ryegrass Experiment

Share Price Warning for Wrightson's over Ryegrass Experiment

Publicity around Wrightson's investment of $3 million to develop what is being described in the media as "Genetically Engineered Ryegrass" could harm their market position and even undermine confidence in the direction of New Zealand's agricultural sector generally.

But ironically any damage to their reputation could be needless as there is doubt that the experiment can even be considered "Genetic Engineering" if it has none of the characteristics that have lead to international opposition to GE in the environment.

"Saying 'this is GE' is a death-knell for the project, yet it may not even be true" says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"There is no market for GE products because of what the GE techniques involve. But if this is something else without those problems Wrightson's need to make that clear or risk harming their brand".

One description of the experimental ryegrass (below) suggests that it will not have any of the charateristics causing rejection of GE. These include 1) random multiple insertions of transgenes 2) Genetic instabilty 3) Use of viral promoter sequences 4) Use of antibiotic markers 5) Potential for unexpected metabolic changes and secondary effects as a result of the GE techniques.

"If the proposed techniques genuinely have none of these problems then they need to say so as it would be far less harmful to Wrightson's reputation," says Mr Carapiet.

"If the Wrightson's proposed experiments still have the same problems then it's a wasted investment and they should cancel it immediately".

Even being associated with the GE experiments could hurt Wrightson's reputation. Other companies around the world have recently been hit by negative investor sentiment over GE. Wrightson's may also have lost out on improving its reputation as a result of reports that it had sold shares in biotech-company Genesis.

Unfortunately public funding is also being wasted on the project.

It raises the same concern as recent funding for Hubbard's Cereals. Wrightson's is a private company with huge resources, so why are taxpayers subsidising them?


© 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>>