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

 


Innovation stifled by High Court decision

Innovation stifled by High Court decision


Crown Research Institute Scion says that the recent High Court decision concerning new plant breeding technologies demonstrates that the 15-year old legislation and regulations covering genetically modified organisms are seriously deficient.

Scion CEO Warren Parker said, “Indeed, the judge noted that the regulations are not well drafted, and led to the different interpretations put before the Court”.

This decision puts New Zealand at odds with other regulators around the world (e.g. US, Australia, Germany), who have stated opinions that organisms resulting from these technologies are not regarded as genetically modified.

“Not only does this decision put us behind other countries, it blocks New Zealand’s ability to innovate and reduces our options to respond scientifically to issues that affect our primary production,” said Dr Parker.

“Our regulators need to be able to apply sound scientific principles to decision-making,” said Elspeth MacRae, Scion’s General Manager of Manufacturing and Bioproducts.

“In this instance, the two technologies - “ZFN-1” and “TALEs” - alter the genetic code of an organism but without the introduction of foreign genetic material into the genome of the cell. The technologies allow targeted mutations that are more precise and scientifically predictable than mutations achieved through traditional breeding methods,” explained Dr MacRae.

Such technologies are particularly important for forestry, which has long breeding cycles. Use of new breeding technologies like these, provide the forestry industry with a rapid response to issues that are becoming increasingly important.

Scion would like to use the techniques for preventing the spread of wilding-pines, increasing tolerance to climate change, resistance to pathogens and improving wood quality and growth rate in response to shifts in the market place.

Technologies will continue to evolve and should be subject to a regulatory regime. The emphasis however, should not just focus on the techniques; it needs to also look at the changes (i.e., traits) being sought. In this instance, the target traits would fall within the natural variability of plant genomes and could be achieved with traditional breeding methods, but it would take many years and with less precision.

The new breeding technologies that were the subject of the High Court decision would result in plants that that are similar or indistinguishable from plants developed from traditional breeding methods. Regulating these techniques poses an unnecessary burden on the industry and stifles innovation.

-ENDS-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news