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

 

GE Trees planted out last week

http://www.gefree.org.nz
GE Free NZ
PR 18.7.03


GE Trees planted out last week

GE Free New Zealand (in food and environment) is very concerned by information that Forest Research has already planted out GE spruce trees in Rotorua.

In letters to the Environmental Risk Management Authority, the FRI revealed it had started planting GE spruce trees (GMF 99005 Picea abies) on 10 July 2003, but that GE pine tree (GMF 99005/99001 Pinus radiata) plantings have been delayed.

These trees include antibiotic resistant markers, herbicide-resistant genes and genes linked to “terminator” technology. The original Forest Research GE tree applications attracted over 735 submissions, of which 96.5% were opposed, including the Department of Conservation who expressed serious concerns about wildling pines in the conservation estate.

The FRI originally deferred its field tests, until 'the voluntary moratorium is lifted' stating they were doing so "in order to be seen to be acting responsibly and in accordance with the spirit of the voluntary moratorium". (See FRI press release 31 October,2000]

However as the present moratorium is only on applications for release of GE organisms, they are able to proceed with the plantings as a “field trial”, despite the ongoing debate about GE contamination of the New Zealand environment from such trials.

The original Forest Research application (GMF 99005) was for herbicide resistant GE spruce and pine. This allows for increased quantities of herbicide to be used in future forestry applications. This could dramatically increase the amount of chemical run off from forestry plantations, entering water supplies.

The scientific concerns about long-term impact on soil and our environment have not yet been properly addressed. General concerns include increased use of herbicides, superweeds, and risks to soils from horizontal gene transfer (HGT). ERMA's record to-date gives the public little confidence that these trials are properly designed to ensure environmental contamination is avoided.

GE Free New Zealand maintains there has been insufficient publicity or public discussion about the implications for New Zealand of planting out experimental GE trees in the open environment. There are concerns that the recent independent review of ERMA has raised unanswered questions about the capability of the Government's environmental watchdog to properly regulate genetically engineered crops and animals.

Particular mention was made of poor oversight by ERMA of compliance and monitoring of conditions set on GE approvals, and poor coordination between ERMA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), which enforces conditions on GE trials set by ERMA.

Basic understanding of GM impacts on soil biota and insect populations needed to have been established through comprehensive lab-based studies before these trees were planted out. The absence of this data shows good science is being compromised in a rush for commercial profits. It is regrettable that Crown Research Institutes, funded by taxpayer dollars, are a part of this problem.

ENDS

More info: Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

Source: ERMA 17 July 2003

References: The Institute of Science in Society ISIS report - 20/02/03 Chronicle of An Ecological Disaster Foretold

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Auckland’s Rental Market Ends Year Near $600 Per Week Mark

The average weekly rent in Auckland reached a new high of $595 at the end of 2020, just shy of a long-anticipated $600 per week. More>>

University of Auckland: Pest-Free Goal Won’t Be Achieved Without New And Better Tools

New Zealand’s goal to become predator free by 2050 will remain an unrealised dream unless new technologies and advances in social engagement continue to be developed, researchers who first promoted it say. A team from the University of Auckland has ... More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>