Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Ignoring The Evidence - Again.

No matter how many scientist's warnings are given to this government a blind persistence to release these formidable and unwanted novel organisms into the New Zealand environment will go ahead. The misinterpretation of the recent NZ-taxpayer-funded BERL report, was immediately obvious. Notwithstanding the liability issues (who pays for contamination), government is determined to lift this moratorium on GE organisms (GEOs) this October.

Contrary to claims research will not be "set back" by not releasing GMO's. Reports maintain that only 3% of New Zealand's genetic engineering research represent field releases. The rest is conducted in the laboratory. Is it so much to ask that we follow the advice of all these prestigious international scientists and maintain the moratorium? In a short time, we could be breathing the same sigh of relief that we did when the true nature of the nuclear issue came to light and we remained, thank God, nuclear free.

Liability when contamination occurs, or if an engineered organism proves dangerous, will be a major issue. The fact that no insurance company will provide cover should send a strong message to Government on the reliability and safety of release. The NZ Government Law Commission report on liability stated the effects could range from "trivial to catastrophic." Industry makes much of the status of organics being contaminated, but ignores the majority of farmers who grow conventionally and wish to continue to take advantage of our present GE-Free status. A Lincoln University study found 70% of our farmers did not intend to use GE.

No doubt Professor Cooper's warnings will go unheeded in exactly the same way that those of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics, the British Medical Association and others have done. It is arguably inaccurate for Dr Conner to state, "We know a lot more about them than their non-GE counterparts." If that were the case the failure of such crops as Bt corn and cotton would never have happened. The technology is seriously flawed and is certainly not "precise." Only through GE can genes from a rat or soil bacterium become part of a corn plant's DNA. A DNA which, as Professor Cooper said, will persist for thousands of years. A growing body of literature has begun to show that GE-crops are creating new kinds of environmental problems for farmers, and are exacerbating already-severe economic problems for American, Indian and other farmers fooled into growing them. Whether they like it or not, genes jump.

The Royal Commission strongly recommended we preserve our opportunities to use genetic modification for economic, health and environmental benefit. Since the Commission's findings, it has been demonstrated these are scant indeed. The promises have always been alluring, but to date they are backed mostly by hope, hype, and a lot of noise. Numerous independent studies from the USDA and US universities on GE crops have documented their failure to live up to the propaganda. There are failures of one kind or another with all GE-crops, without counting the contamination they have caused.

The Government should face it, the GE bonanza is over. The predicted financial boom has not materialised, nor the promised benefits to agriculture and health. Biotechnology is a risky business. Our decision on releasing these organisms will affect far more than the food we eat, it will determine the kind of country we and our children inhabit.

Sincerely

Dr Robert Anderson

Member Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics

http://www.psrg.org.nz


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Transport: International Arrivals In May Lowest In 61 Years

The number of people that arrived in New Zealand in May 2020 was the lowest for any month since May 1959, because of COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions, Stats NZ said today. There were 5,600 arrivals in May 2020 compared with 4,700 in ... More>>

ALSO:

It’s All In The Genomes: New Study Reveals Scale Of Havelock North Campylobacteriosis Outbreak

When the campylobacteria outbreak hit Havelock North in 2016, no-one fully understood how widely it affected the local communities. Gene-sequencing technology used by scientists has shown the true scale of the outbreak. The joint study from ESR, Massey ... More>>

ALSO:

Tiwai Point: Rio Tinto Announces Plans To Close Tiwai Point Smelter

Rio Tinto has just announced that it will wind down New Zealand Aluminium Smelters - the Tiwai Point smelter - saying the business is no longer viable. More>>

ALSO:

Freight: New Report On Auckland Port Relocation

The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. More>>

ALSO:

Energy Sector: Meridian Spilled Water To Hike Electricity Prices - Authority Ruling

The Electricity Authority has found that generator Meridian Energy manipulated the power market, costing consumers about $80 million. More>>

ALSO:

XE Data Update: RBNZ Official Cash Rate Decision

The RBNZ will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25%. T he key points in the RBNZ statement are: RBNZ keeps the OCR unchanged at 0.25% Maintain the LSAP (large scale asset purchase) at NZD$60 billion. Committee prepared to use additional monetary ... More>>

ALSO:

Electricity: Kiwis Ignore Promise Of Cheaper Power

Electric Kiwi and Flick Electric Co are joint winners of Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Electricity Providers From putting on an extra layer – rather than turning on a heater – to turning off lights and choosing the energy-saving ... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: Regional Economic Scoreboard Q1 2020

ASB NZ Regional Economic Scoreboard Gisborne still the place to be It has been Gisborne’s year, and the region comes out tops on our regional rankings for the fourth successive quarter. Like everywhere, question marks are about the COVID-19 impact on the future. ... More>>

RNZ: Economic Activity And Business Confidence Bouncing Back

Two surveys from ANZ show business confidence and economic activity have rebounded, but uncertainty about the future remains extreme. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: The Climate Record That Keeps Getting Broken

Among the multitude of New Zealand climate statistics there is one record that continues to be broken month after month. Since January 2017 there has not been one month that recorded a below average nationwide temperature, according to NIWA’s seven station ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Extended Loan Scheme Keeps Business Afloat

Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small ... More>>

ALSO:

Science: 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes Announced

The 2019 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been announced in a digital livestream event today. The Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives, celebrate the achievements of current scientists and encourage scientists of the ... More>>

ALSO:

Stardome Observatory: Young Kiwi Astro-Photographer Shoots For The Stars

Matariki by Josh Kirkley. The stars are aligning for up-and-coming Auckland-based astro-photographer Josh Kirkley (Kāi Tahu). During lockdown, one of his images was picked up by NASA and shared on the space agency’s Instagram to its 59.2 million ... More>>


DCANZ: Time For EU To Commit To A Level Playing Field For Trade

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has welcomed New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker’s statement that it is unacceptable for New Zealand exporters to continue facing an ‘unlevel playing field’ in the EU. Details leaked ... More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Government: Supporting Kiwi Businesses To Resolve Rent Disputes

The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. More>>

ALSO: