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

 

Public badly let down by ERMA

Public badly let down by ERMA

An amendment application that opens the door for possible release of GE animals is to be considered without public comment on the 11th of October.

“This application is trying to secretly manipulate ERMA’s powers and shows that the public is being badly let down by the body set up to protect the country” said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment “ERMA must allow the application to be open to public submissions before any decision is made.”

Over the last few years concerns have been raised about the spread of GE DNA by horizontal gene transfer and the possible downstream effects of such transfer. As a result of this, ERMA will have to be more cautious than when it first approved the application.

The Royal Commission recommended that food animals should not be used in experiments and that stringent research into the environmental effects of GE animals should be carried out. The Hazardous Substance and New Organism Act (HSNO Act) was changed to require all applications for field trials/commercial release to provide comprehensive experimental evidence documenting the effects of the GE animals on the soil ecosystems. Although AgResearch has conducted trials on GE cows for six years, no studies on the possibility of horizontal gene transfer to soil bacteria have been carried out. The latest findings, which show of high levels of antibiotic resistance genes in soil bacteria taken from the site, were not even queried by ERMA.

“ERMA has consistently overlooked the environmental effects. It does not enforce any of its decisions. It does not appear to properly consult with MAF on biosecurity issues and it leaves the country wide open to the dangers of unexpected gene transfer of GE DNA ,which is sufficient cause for concern” said Mrs Bleakley.

It appears that ERMA is not enforcing its precautionary duty under the HSNO Act. GE Free NZ is calling on the new government to look at setting up a Biotechnology Commission that has independent scientific experts who are able to evaluate GE applications and are capable of developing rigorous GE 'field' safety trials.

“This amendment proposal should not be left to ERMA to decide as it has not got the independent resources to evaluate the enormity of the decision” said Ms Bleakley

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO:

CO2 And Water: Fonterra (And Dairy NZ)'s Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>

ALSO: