New Zealand

Hawke's Bay Council is supporting push for GE free status

Council is supporting push for GE status

Hawke’s Bay took one step closer to establishing a genetic engineering-free food status for the region when the Hastings District Council expressed support for the vision, writes Lawrence Gullery of Hawke’s Bay Today. 

Pure Hawke’s Bay presented to the Hastings Council’s long-term plan hearing this week to put its case forward for a GE-free district and the council responded by voting unanimously in support of the proposal.

The council was keen to join Napier in declaring itself GE-free but wanted to take the concept a step further, writing it into its district plan to give it some legal clout.

The idea is to protect the growing soils of the Heretaunga Plains which supports the region’s primary and horticulture economy.

The council was also keen to become a national leader of the GE-free movement rather than wait for the Government to come up with a national policy. Currently only Whangarei is moving in the GE-free direction.

The status would give food producers a point of difference when marketing overseas and put tighter rules around applications for GE crops to be grown in the district.

Pure Hawke’s Bay said it was not “anti-science” but believed research around GE foods should be restricted “to the labs” and not grown out in crops in New Zealand.

ANIMAL DEATH TOLL ENDS CLONING TRIALS

 

letters to editor:

email: letters@dompost.co.nz

 

 

www.stuff.co.nz/national/4681283/Animal-death-toll-ends-cloning-trials

Animal death toll ends cloning trials

DOMINION POST

by Kiran Chug

21/02/2011

STOPPED: AgResearch has ended its cloning trials after acceptable death rates were recorded.

Unacceptable death rates of laboratory animals have forced AgResearch to end its cloning trials.

But the science agency says it will continue to create more genetically engineered animals using new research methods.

The state research organisation has issued reports into trials conducted at its Ruakura centre that detail chronic arthritis, pneumonia, lameness and blood poisoning among the causes of cattle, sheep and goat deaths.

The reports, made available to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, refer to trials including those carried out on genetically engineered animals being developed to produce a kind of super milk, as well as animals being cloned.

Other trials where deaths occurred included those looking for resistance to eczema in sheep, exploring feeding motivation in pregnant sheep, and collecting tissue from genetically modified embryos.

Applied biotechnologies general manager Jimmy Suttie said that after 13 years of studying how to prevent abnormalities forming in cloned animals, AgResearch had ended its cloning research.

"The decision was made, enough is enough."

Ruakura pulls pin on cloning facility

 

letters to editor:

email: news@waikatotimes.co.nz

 

 

www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/farming/4683770/Ruakura-pulls-pin-on-cloning-facility

Ruakura pulls pin on cloning facility

CHRIS GARDNER AND KIRAN CHUG

Waikato Times

Last updated 13:00 21/02/2011

The axe has fallen on AgResearch's controversial livestock cloning facility at Ruakura amid reports only 10 per cent of animals involved survived.

But applied biotechnologies general manager Jimmy Suttie said this morning the Hamilton facility – capable of containing up to 200 animals – had closed in September because stem cell research showed more promise.

Reports released by the Crown research institute under the Official Information Act show unacceptable death rates of laboratory animals forced AgResearch to end its cloning trials.

The reports detail chronic arthritis, pneumonia, lameness and blood poisoning among the causes of cattle, sheep and goat deaths and refer to trials including those carried out on genetically engineered animals being developed to produce a kind of super milk, as well as those being cloned.

Other trials where deaths occurred included those looking for resistance to eczema in sheep, exploring feeding motivation in pregnant sheep, and collecting tissue from genetically modified embryos.

Dr Suttie said that after 13 years of studying how to prevent abnormalities forming in cloned animals AgResearch had ended its cloning research.

"The decision was made, enough is enough."

CALL TO ACTION- Opportunity to stop an application for 4,000 GE pine trees in NZ

CALL TO ACTION- Opportunity to stop an application for 4,000 GE pine trees in NZ

 

Scion (formerly “Forest Research”), a NZ Crown Research Institute, has lodged an application for GE pine trees

 

LAB ERRORS LEAD TO GE LEAK

 

 

 

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10662711

National News

Lab errors leads to GE leak

NZ HERALD

By David Fisher

4:00 AM Sunday Aug 1, 2010

 

Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

A probe into the escape of genetically engineered plants from a government laboratory found scientists had left routes open.

Scientists also washed out their high-security specialist containment laboratory with water that was flushed straight into the storm water system.

Details of a criminal investigation into a GE breach at a Plant and Food Research glasshouse laboratory are exposed in papers released under the Official Information Act.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry documents describe a slew of failures and oversights by the government agencies charged with overseeing New Zealand GE laws.

The errors were made by the Environmental Risk and Management Authority, charged with allowing the importation and use of GE material; Plant and Food Research; and MAF, which audits the controls.

The investigation by MAF's enforcement unit was launched after GE cress plants (arabidopsis thaliana) were found growing outside a supposedly secure glasshouse.

The glasshouse was on Lincoln University property in Christchurch but leased out to Plant and Food Research for its experiments.

A senior staff member followed protocols and alerted MAF after the cress leak.

Mutant cows die in GM trial

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10642031

Mutant cows die in GM trial

By Eloise Gibson 4:00 AM Saturday May 1, 2010

NZ HERALD

 

Photo / Hawke's Bay TodayGenetically modified cows were born with ovaries that grew so large they caused ruptures and killed the animals.

The bungled experiment happened during a study by AgResearch scientists at Ruakura, Hamilton, to find human fertility treatments through GM cows' milk.

AgResearch is studying tissue from one of three dead calves to try to find out what made the ovaries grow up to the size of tennis balls rather than the usual thumbnail-size.

Details of the deaths - in veterinary reports released to the Weekend Herald under the Official Information Act - have reignited debate over the ethics of GM trials on animals.

AgResearch's applied technologies group manager, Dr Jimmy Suttie, said he did not see the deaths as a "big deal", and they were part of the learning process for scientists.

But GE-Free NZ spokesman Jon Carapiet said details of the calf trial showed the animal welfare committee overseeing AgResearch's work was "miles away from the ethics and values of the community".

The calves died last year, aged six months. They were formed when human genetic code injected into a cow cell was added to an egg from a cow's ovary and put into a cow's uterus.

The scientists hoped that the genetic code, a human follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), would enable the cows that were produced to produce milk containing compounds that could be used as a human fertility treatment.

Visiting GE-free advocate leaves a cautionary message: protect your primary producers

 

 

 

 

http://gbweekly.co.nz/2010/3/24/visiting-ge-free-advocate-leaves-a-cautionary-message-protect-your-primary-producers

Visiting GE-free advocate leaves a cautionary message: protect your primary producers

GOLDEN BAY WEEKLY 25 March 2010

by Gerard Hindmarsh

Northland-based horticulturalist and GE-free lobbyist, Zelka Grammer, recently spent three weeks tramping her way through the backblocks of Kahurangi, coming out in Golden Bay to replenish her supplies and deliver a strong message to anyone that would listen:

Start protecting your organic and conventional primary producers by insisting TDC place a ban on land use involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

 

It’s not just hot air.

Zelka and her GE-Free Northland colleagues were instrumental in convincing nine Northland and Auckland councils to form the Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Options, whose core function is protecting the regions’ existing (and what many perceive as valuable) GM-free status.

"The next step," says a confident Zelka, will be the implementation of a Regional Exclusion Zone for GMOs. It’s akin to what Golden Bay and Waiheke Island councils did in the late 1970s, when they declared themselves ‘Nuclear Free.’ People laughed back then, but that one became arguably one of this country’s most popular policies."

new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry, 16,000 Kiwi submittors say NO to GE trees

new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

by Zelka Linda Grammer

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) released the new Environmental Standards (NES) for Plantation Forestry in August 2017, after putting out the draft NES-PF two years ago.

The new NES-PF (1) gives foresters, councils, and communities clear national guidelines on how to protect the environment while achieving a sustainable forestry industry ((although many submitters would have preferred stronger provisions to protect indigenous trees, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems).

Severe pressure on MPI resulted in the agency removing a controversial clause 6.4 (GE trees), which was added at the eleventh hour with no consultation with the NZ Farm Forestry Association, Forest and Bird, and other key stakeholders) from the new NES-PF.

Various councils with strong precautionary GE policies, foresters, and other primary producers welcomed the removal of the clause that would have permitted the planting of GE trees anywhere in NZ and specifically overriden any precautionary or prohibitive GE policies and rules of local councils (including those of Northland, Auckland, and Hawke's Bay).

Stop GE Trees- make a submission to the Ministry for Primary Industries and.. protect our local councils excellent precautionary and prohibitive GE policies in local plans


GE FREE NZ Call to Action: 

Proposed National Environmental Standard (NES) for Plantation Forestry


The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) are calling for submissions.  There are grave concerns that the MPI proposed new National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry would remove the ability of Councils to place any precautionary or prohibitive GE policies in local plans.  

For more information see below :)

Submissions must be received by MPI before 5 pm, Tuesday 11 August 2015

Thousands march against TPPA- Hokianga to Invercargill

www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9884024/Thousands-march-against-TPPA

 

30 March 2014  Sunday Star Times

 

More than 3500 people demonstrated their opposition to the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in nationwide rallies yesterday.

The marches took place in centres across New Zealand in opposition to the free trade agreement proposed between 12 Asian and Pacific countries, including New Zealand and the United States.

Protests took place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hokianga, Whangarei, Hamilton, Taranaki, Tauranga, Napier, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Nelson, Geraldine and Invercargill. Politicians, activists, academics, union staff and business people were among the speakers.

Labour leader David Cunliffe spoke at the Auckland rally but would not state his party's final position on the TPPA.

"I'm going to wait until I see the details."

The TPPA was a "fundamentally important agreement" but the public did not know what was included in the text, he said.

"There's a wide range of opinions, some people are absolutely opposed, some people think it's a great deal and the fact is nobody really knows because there's 300 pages of details in [trade minister] Tim Groser's safe and he's not showing anybody and that's wrong," Cunliffe said.

Mana Party's John Minto said the TPPA would give foreign investors more rights than Kiwis. "The TPPA is a bill of rights for foreign investors to come and plunder New Zealand," he said.

Representatives from the Mana Party, the Maori Party, NZ First, the Green Party and Labour spoke.

Speakers said the TPPA would become an issue ahead of the September 20 general election.

Police were present but the marches were peaceful.

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