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

 


Tamarillo protesters ignoring the benefits

HortResearch is surprised that protesters feel a need to target the Kerikeri Research Centre with a weekend long protest against a small trial of transgenic tamarillos. Protesters often assert that more research is needed into the effects of genetic modification, yet at the same time they are attempting to stop research that will further advance knowledge in this area.

"HortResearch has followed all safety and other protocols required by the regulatory bodies " HortResearch Scientist Dan Cohen said.

"Success in overcoming the mosaic virus would remove a significant barrier to tamarillo exports and open the way for a major export business for Northland," Dr Cohen said.

The transgenic tamarillo trial at Kerikeri is being grown under strict rules. It was started in January 1998, which was pre the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), though ERMA has since been involved in an inspection of the site.

Over a period of 20 years several attempts were made to obtain protection for tamarillos against the mosaic virus. None were successful and the mosaic virus continues to be a barrier to tamarillo exports.

Now using a transgenic approach it has been possible to insert a small part of the virus that infects most tamarillos into tamarillo plants. This is very similar to immunisation. The resulting trees proved to be resistant to virus infection in the laboratory and in controlled glasshouses.

After several years of laboratory tests, an application was made to test these plants in a contained field trial. And it was only after rigorous examination, including detailed questions about the risk of cross-pollination, that approval was granted. This trial is to see if the trees remain virus free in a natural environment. So far the tests are very encouraging.

The Tamarillo Growers Association have given strong encouragement to this trial, and Bruce Mulligan, Chairman of the Association said that anyone currently eating tamarillos is also consuming relatively large amounts of viral genes.

"The development of a virus-resistant tamarillo would be mutually beneficial, and also has the potential to reduce pesticide use, a widely accepted high priority to growers" he said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half A Billion Accounts: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Results:

Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news