Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Native Tree Plan Shows Positive Face of Scion’s Research

Native Tree Plan Shows Positive Face of Scion’s Research

The commercial propagation of indigenous trees in Ngati Whare’s new nursery in Minginui is an exciting development for all New Zealand and shows the benefits of ethical research that does not require release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms into the environment. [1]

Scion has been helping with the project by developing vegetative cuttings using leading edge technology that reflects community values. Ngati Whare and Scion are to be congratulated. This shows the acceptable face of Scion's work and does not involve transgenic organisms or genetic engineering. Scion had earlier success with the propagation of seeds from the rare taonga plant Ngutukākā (white kaka beak), which have been planted on the ancestral lands of Ngāti Kohatu and Ngāti Hinehika. [2]

This work offers a new direction for Scion that fits with community expectations and shows that there is more to science than commercial interests pushing for release of genetically engineered organisms. Scion has doggedly persisted in promoting and trialling GE trees that lack commercial viability due to the magnitude of long-term systemic risks they pose to the environment, human health, and soil ecosystems.

In contrast to its work to sustain native trees, Scion promotes GE trees that are resistant to the herbicide ammonium glufosinate (Busta) and have had their reproductive traits altered.

“We need to protect native forests and to defend the rights of forest dependent communities and Indigenous Peoples against the uncontrollable and irreversible threats posed by the release of genetically engineered trees,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ. "GE trees threaten native forests, remove food for the insects and birds and advance the use toxic herbicides that kill ecosystems and damage the soil. Together, the effect will be to drive forests into becoming silent cemeteries and dead zones.”

Minister Dr. Smith is aggressively seeking to enact legislation that will remove Councils’ right to place precautionary policies on the growing of GM trees in their regions. [3] Scion’s influence on inserting the GE clauses to National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) [4] that override councils GE free zones shows that its interests directly conflict with the very environmental sustainability it should be promoting.

"This native tree project between Scion and Ngati Whare will help advance Aotearoa’s forests and preserve our beautiful native trees. It is an exciting and valuable use of New Zealand research money, but should not be used as a bribe to allow commercialisation of Scion’s GE projects, or to justify forestry being allowed to destabilise complex natural ecosystems.” said Claire Bleakley.

[1] http://www.scionresearch.com/general/publications/scion-connections/previous-issues/past-issues-list/issue-18,-december-2015/precious-indigenous-plant-begins-new-future
[2] http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11702838
[3] http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11703046
[4] http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20160730.htm


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19: Covid Alert Level 2 in Wellington till the end of the week

The Wellington region will move to alert level 2 from 6pm tonight until 11.59pm on Sunday.
The announcement comes after a person who travelled from Sydney to Wellington tested positive for the virus upon their return.... More>>



Environment: Bringing Back The Health Of Hauraki Gulf

New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations.
The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today... More>>


NZ First Returns: Winston Peters - AGM Address

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be in Auckland for the 28th New Zealand First Party Conference. It is our intention and mission to remain the most successful political party outside of National and Labour in the last three decades... More>>

Government: New Members Appointed To Waitangi Tribunal

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson, today announced the appointment of three new members to the Waitangi Tribunal and the reappointment of one existing member to the Waitangi Tribunal... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels