Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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

 

Greens ask board which genes added to cows

The Dairy Board must give more public detail of its big shift towards genetic engineering, including whether human genes are to be added to cows, Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

Late last year the board's general manager of research and development Dr Kevin Marshall, in an official board publication, mooted adding human genes to cows.

Today the board announced spending an extra $150 million over the next five years on biotechnology research, including a "move into genetic manipulation".

Mr Ian Ewen-Street, an organic farmer based in Marlborough, said farmers and consumers had a right to much more information, as the board was starting out on a major new pathway with huge ramifications for New Zealand's reputation as a "clean, green" agricultural producer.

"Does the board have a mandate from its owner-shareholders to embark upon a project so clearly contrary to the general will of New Zealanders and with such high associated risks? Overseas markets for genetically engineered products are collapsing at the same time as the markets for organic products are expanding exponentially," Mr Ewen-Street said. "We need a risk assessment urgently, for example into a danger of public backlash against genetically engineered products the board plans to produce."

In an article headed "Biotech Future" in the board's publication "December Review", the board's Dr Marshall strongly backed genetic engineering, saying the article "outlines his vision for the future".

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

His article said: ""For the dairy industry, the goals of genetic engineering of mammary glands include strategies for changing milk composition to enhance cheese yield, to reduce the energy cost of milk production and to reduce the microbial load in milk. One of the most ambitious schemes proposed so far is to alter the composition of bovine milk so that it resembles human milk by eliminating some bovine milk protein genes and replacing others with coding sequences derived from human genes."

Mr Ewen-Street said today, "The board must come clean and confirm whether or not this is the general proposal they are forcing New Zealanders and especially farmers to sign up to, to the tune of $150 million. I would also like to see arguments as to why this money isn't being used to promote the higher value products which come from organic farming. Putting human DNA, or any non-bovine genes, into cows is a highly contentious act. The board is starting on a very risky path indeed."

Ends

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos


Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.