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

 

Do GE developers really know what they are doing?

New Zealand consumers will be left in the dark about foods grown in Australia that have been created using gene editing techniques. On the 13 November the Australian Senator Rice put up a motion to disallow, or overturn, the recently passed Gene Technology Amendment Regulations 2019 that allows the gene editing of animals, plants and microorganisms without them needing to go through the regulatory process. [1] This motion was defeated.

The decision ushers in a wild west of gene editing that puts at risk the environment, people's health and consumer trust in Australian food.

Now, in Australia, gene editing of SDN1 foods can be commercialised without any Government oversight. Further they will escape any safety studies. These manipulations have not undergone any testing for safety when eaten.

"This comes when scientists are warning about the dangers posed by gene edited organisms. There are serious mutations and off target effects that have been labelled as “clumsy”," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE - Free NZ.

"As GE plants are able to produce pollen and pass on their engineered traits these clumsy and off target effects may pose serious dangers to the plant, environment and those who eat them."

Gene editing is a very new form of genetic engineering and its techniques are still only at an early development stage. No environmental or feeding tests have been conducted to see if, for example the gene is absorbed by the gut, or to test what are effects on the soil or plants that are cross contaminated with the pollen.

There are good reasons to doubt if GE developers really know what they are doing, given the latest evidence of unintended effects from gene editing. Regularly we are being told of precision techniques that reflect wishful thinking and opinion rather than scientific evidence.

GE organisms are being released too early without the requisite safety studies. Once released, research has shown serious problems are arising, these should have been properly tested for before release. Recently, scientists are admitting that GMOs are a failure and also that the new gene edited *CRISPA, *TALENS, ZFN * [2]; genetically engineered crop technology is not as precise as promoted, being clumsy and full of “unwanted" effects [3]. Anzalone et al (2019) have developed a Mark 3.00 “prime” GMO touted as being “more” precise, but which is as yet untested. [4]

“What is concerning is the recognition that there are many problems associated with GE transgenes and CRISPA technologies, yet now a new GE technique is being hyped but without addressing the problems associated with the older technologies,” said Jon Carapiet,

“We must be able to guarantee that our food chain is safe and all GE foods are tested and labelled. We must ensure that our regulations stay strong and do not let down the public by letting unsafe food onto the market."
*CRISPA= clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats
*TALENS = Transcription Activator-Like Nucleases
*ZFNs= Zinc Finger Nucleases
References:

[1] https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Regulations_and_Ordinances/Alerts

[2] Gene-Editing Could Modify and Cure Disease: CRISPR vs. TALENs https://ark-invest.com/research/crispr-vs-talens

[3] Cohen J. (2019) Prime editing promises to be a cut above CRISPR. Science https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6464/406

[4] Anzalone, A.V., Randolph, P.B., Davis, J.R. et al. Search-and-replace genome editing without double-strand breaks or donor DNA. Nature (2019) doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1711-4

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Madrid Climate Talks: Decade Ending 2019 Likely To Be Hottest On Record

Exceptional global heat driven by greenhouse gas emissions mean this decade will most likely go down as the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization...

The agency also finds that 2019 is on track to be the second or third warmest year in history, with the global average temperature during January through October, roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

“If we do not take urgent climate action now, then we are heading for a temperature increase of more than 3°C by the end of the century, with ever more harmful impacts on human wellbeing.” More>>

 

NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>

Earlier:

Donations:

Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Stoking Fears About Cannabis Law Reform

It was always going to be hard to have a rational debate on cannabis reform. Far easier for politicians to win votes by stoking alarm... More>>

ALSO:

Tūhoronuku Mandate Recognition Ends: "New Opportunity" For Ngāpuhi Treaty Negotiations

The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Next Phase Of Recovery Underway

“Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and safety regulator WorkSafe." More>>

ALSO:

Peters Stoic: Russia On Afghan Firing Range Deaths

The foreign minister won't be calling in the Russian ambassador concerning comments made about New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan. In a media briefing late last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said New Zealand must investigate crimes against civilians. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Call: Online Crisis Response Workshop In Wellington

Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels