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


Developers beaten to market with 'GE Forbidden Fruit'

14/01/2019 Pipped at the Post - Developers beaten to market with 'GE Forbidden Fruit'

Scientists at Plant and Food have been beaten to market for sale of red-fleshed apples, despite mounting a campaign to promote their own GE product and suggesting it is ‘forbidden' as an excuse to weaken regulation of novel foods.

In a rush to get their GE apples to market, Plant and Food the scientists have sent their small plum sized GE apples to San Francisco for a “taste testing” to escape the long term safety requirements of New Zealand and EU regulations. [1]

They have spent millions of dollars on these GE apples yet there are already traditionally bred red-fleshed apples on the market. Lubera, a Swiss company, has many varieties of red-fleshed apples that are sweet, tangy crispy and scab resistant already commercialised and on the market. [2]

It is misleading to claim that new products are forbidden, because the food and environmental regulations do not forbid GMOs, but require safety testing of novel foods. The public expects responsible oversight of genetic engineering and there are good reasons to regulate new gene editing (GE) technologies.

“The relentless promotion of the idea that gene editing needs no regulation is self-serving and ignores historical lessons of science. It deflects from the terrible failures of the first 'GMO.1' foray into genetic manipulation. Gene editing technology is only 5 years old and brings risk of unintentional effects which requires oversight," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ. "It is reasonable for people to expect novel products have been subject to feeding trials to see if they are safe to eat”

New Zealand is leading the way in sustainable non GE farming and the CRI scientists should not be continuing expensive and unproven GE technology, or promoting its deregulation for the reason that it is fast at creating new varieties.

The global demand for Non-GMO products is growing because of the desire for natural, organic safe food and sustainable agriculture. Industry cannot be left to police themselves, as it is a chorus of vested interests that is demanding gene-edited products have no regulation.

Dr Rommens, ex-Director of J.R. Simplot and the developer of the GE potatoes has spoken about industry short-cuts taken to get a GE food to market. The testing is focused on short-term benefits (in the laboratory) without considering the long-term deficits (in the field). He confesses that the test results on the GM potatoes were not as healthy as normal potatoes. He says “they were often misshapen, stunted, chlorotic, necrotic, and sterile, and many GM plants often died quickly. More importantly, I didn’t understand that the concealed bruises accumulate certain toxins that may compromise the nutritional quality of potato foods.” [3]

NZ Plant and Food, previously called Crop and Food, has been involved in many GMO field trails. All have failed or been closed down due to breaches and a cavalier attitude of some of their scientists, costing the taxpayer many thousands of dollars. [4] [5]

“After the many failures and breaches of their field trials it is wrong to be calling for abolishing regulation and safety protocols. Further it is hard to trust that the desire for cost recovery through patents will prioritise rigorous safety testing protocols,” said Mrs. Bleakley.

New Zealand regulations for food and environmental safety are vital to protect the country and New Zealand's reputation as a premium food producer from the dangers and human errors of GMOs.

References: http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20190114.htm
[1] https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/01/08/389024/mount-alberts-forbidden-fruit
[2] Breeding of Red fleshed Apples https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkHZVPtoNuM
[3] Interview with Dr. Rommens https://sustainablepulse.com/2018/10/09/the-creator-of-gmo-potatoes-reveals-the-dangerous-truth-exclusive-interview/#.XDZtsS2B1Yk
[4] Brassica Breaches Plant and Food, now Crop and Food http://www.gefree.org.nz/ge-breaches/
[5] GM field trial activity http://purehawkesbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/GM-Field-trial-activity-in-NZ-since-19981.pdf\


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Ongoing Problems With Abortion

Despite Christopher Luxon’s assurances to the contrary, there is no such thing as “settled law” in New Zealand. Apart from the six provisions that are constitutionally entrenched, legislation can always be amended or overturned by a simple majority vote within our single chamber of Parliament. Luxon’s repeated use of the term “settled law” has been particularly tone deaf, given that several of the US Supreme Court justices used that very same term during their confirmation hearings...


Government: New Measures To Help Manage COVID-19 As Country Stays At Orange
The Government is taking action to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools and early childhood services, COVID-19 Response Minster Dr Ayesha Verrall and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today... More>>

Prime Minister: Remarks At NATO Summit
It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation... More>>

Government: Joint Press Release With President Of The Govt Of Spain Pedro Sánchez & PM Of New Zealand
On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain... More>>

Greens: Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin

After years of research and advocacy, Parliament will finally consider legislation to take meaningful action on alcohol harm, says the Greens... More>>

Government: Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay... More>>

NZ Republic: Charles CHOGM Speech Green Light For Change
“Prince Charles had made it clear in his speech to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda today that even the Royal family think it’s time for change” said Lewis Holden, campaign chair of New Zealand Republic... More>>




InfoPages News Channels