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ERMA New Zealand Receives GM Test Application

11 April 2008

ERMA New Zealand Receives GM Onion, Spring Onion, Garlic And Leek Field Test Application

The Environmental Risk Management Authority has received an application from the New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research to field test genetically-modified onions, spring onions, garlic and leeks.

Crop and Food Research, which already has an approval to field test up to 2700 GM onion plants modified for herbicide resistance, wants to set up a more extensive test crop involving more vegetable species. It wants to run a field test over a 10-year period, planting all four species over a total of 2.5 hectares.

Crop and Food Research wants to plant onion seed directly in the ground and allow some onion plants to flower in the field in order to produce seed. The flowering onions would be caged in order to prevent insects carrying pollen to non-GM onions outside the site.

Public submissions are invited on the application and must be received by Monday, 26 May 2008. These can be made in writing or online through ERMA New Zealand's website. It is likely that a public hearing will be held on the application in July.

The application details and answers to frequently-asked questions are available on the ERMA New Zealand website,


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