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

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news