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

 

Scientists Warn New-Style GMOs Must Not Escape Regulation

Scientists Warn New-Style GMOs Must Not Escape Regulation


Independent scientists are advising that new 2nd Generation genetic engineering techniques are regulated. The warning comes as the trans-Tasman Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is reviewing how

the Food Standards Code applies to food derived from Generation 2 genetic engineering techniques, like CRISPR*, and whether such foods should escape FSANZ assessment. [1]

The Australian Office of Gene Technology (OGTR) is also consulting on whether the Generation 2 genetic engineering techniques should be considered GM and canvassing if they should require regulation.

New Zealand law (Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) considers these new laboratory in-vitro techniques forms of genetic modification.


The most common applications of the new GE techniques are gene-editing, knocking out genes, and altering the DNA of a plant or animal. These include CRISPR–Cas9* and Zinc finger nucleases. [2]

The biotechnology industry argue that 2nd Generation GMO’s are 'precise and safe', deliberately understating the risks. Proponents in the Industry are advocating that the GMO’s should escape regulation.

GE-Free NZ insists that there must be significantly better regulation and testing of products from CRISPR and other novel techniques.


CRISPR is being hyped in media as a new generation of genetic engineering that is more exact and has fewer problems than the earlier GMOs. Scientific studies have revealed, however, that many collateral and unexpected

genetic changes take place. In a letter to Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand (Forest & Bird), Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR) warns that there are unscientific and naive exaggerations

of what the technology can achieve. PSRG says: "Proponents talk about it being extremely precise and accurate and only making small changes that could have occurred as a result of ordinary germline mutations. This is fundamentally misleading,"


"(The) targeted change is invariably accompanied by a very large number of other changes at similar sites in the DNA of the genome being altered. Although each of the changes may be small, CRISPR is still a scattergun approach like earlier methods

of genetic engineering, although it is much more selective. "PSGR scientists say the problems with gene drive technologies arise because of the disconnect between the engineering plan and biological/ecological reality. PSGR warn in their letter:

"There is so little that is really known about the long-term (or even short-term) effects of gene-drive deployment that, in our opinion, it would be utter foolishness to unleash it on the environment, especially something as delicate as our native ecology,"


Recent studies have found that the manipulation of DNA can cause unexpected mutations affecting thousands of gene functions as well as causing complex deletions and insertions at many sites of the genome [3] [4] [5].

"It is vital that regulation of novel genetic engineering like CRISPR is actually strengthened and not weakened or removed," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

FSANZ must require all gene-edited foods to be analysed using transcriptomics to look at gene expression, metabolomics to look at metabolites, and proteomics to look at the protein profile. [6] This will determine any changes

to gene functions and new proteins. Long-term studies on animals and humans must be carried out to determine if there are any toxic or allergenic effects.

“Regulation of the 2nd generation GMOs is essential in order to protect people and the environment, especially since scientific evidence shows unforeseen risks,” said Mr. Carapiet.

*CRISPr-Cas9 The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas9

References-
1. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/Pages/Review-of-new-breeding-technologies-.aspx
2. Daisy Chain Gene drive – Editing our genes – Pest control http://www.radionz.co.nz/stories/2018618186/editing-our-genes-pest-control
3. Schaefer KA et al (2017). Unexpected mutations after CRISPR–Cas9 editing in vivo. Nature Methods 14, 547–548. doi:10.1038/nmeth.4293.
4. Shin HY et al. (2017). CRISPR/Cas9 targeting events cause complex deletions and insertions at 17 sites in the mouse genome. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 15464. doi:10.1038/ncomms15464 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460021/
5. Mou H et al. (2017). CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing induces exon skipping by alternative splicing or exon deletion. Genome Biology 18:108. https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-017-1237-8
6. CRISPR induced mutations – what do they mean for food safety?. http://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/17657

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>


Crown: Duke Of York’s NZ Military Patronage Appointment Ends
Buckingham Palace has recently announced that, with the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>


Financial Advice NZ: Law Changes Locking Out Home Seekers, Urgent Meeting Sought With Government

Recent changes in consumer finance law on top of Government policy changes are locking many home seekers out of finance options they would have qualified for just six weeks ago, says Financial Advice New Zealand... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels