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ANIMAL DEATH TOLL ENDS CLONING TRIALS

 

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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

 

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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."

EU beekeepers stage win against GM crop producers

EU beekeepers stage win against GM crop producers
 
The EU's highest court may classify honey containing traces of genetically modified material as "food produced" from modified plants. Such a ruling may enable beekeepers with hives close to GM crops to seek damages.

Have your Say: Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"

 

 

 

Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"

(part of the NRC "Regional Policy Statement" Review) 25 November 2010

The Northland Regional Council is developing a new Regional Policy Statement (RPS), which happens once every ten years. The NRC has just released its "New RPS Discussion Document 2010" (you can obtain a hard copy by ringing or emailing the council and have your say to help shape Northland’s future).

The NRC says it wants to "improve the management of Northland’s natural and physical resources (land, water, air, soil, minerals, energy, all plants and animals, and all built structures)" but, if we want to ensure we get sound environmental provisions in our RPS, that means we have to engage and participate right now in order to influence the outcome.

This is especially necessary as we have already identified inaccurate and misleading content in the "Biodiversity/Ecosystems" section of the "New RPS Discussion Document 2010", specifically about GE/GMOs and the important liability issue.

GE Free Northland has done a detailed analysis of this and put together some key points on the GE issue to make it easy for submittors to give their feedback to the NRC regarding Genetically Modified Organisms, supporting a strong prohibitive provision in the RPS. This is a great opportunity to put forward a good case for sound environmental, economic and biosecurity outcomes in the Regional Policy Statement, which then the Northland territorial authorities will have to give effect to through their District plans.

GENETIC ENGINEERING/GMOs

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

 

CROWN ENTITY 'COWBOYS' IRK GE OPPONENTS

 

 

 

www.northernadvocate.co.nz/local/news/crown-entity-cowboys-irk-ge-opponents/3920084/

Crown entity 'cowboys' irk GE opponents

NORTHERN ADVOCATE

by

Lindy Laird Monday 23rd August 2010

A spokesperson for GE Free Northland says state-owned "cowboys" with a bad track record are trying to ride roughshod over a Northland council.

Zelka Grammer has voiced her concerns after the crown research institute Plant and Food Research lodged an "11th hour" cross-submission to the Kaipara District Council's District Plan.

Plant and Food's submission argued that a district council should not be involved in decision-making about GE.

It also described as "invalid" the local submissions calling for GE policy to be written into the district plan.

Plant and Food's timing gave parties who had made submissions on the topic no time to lodge cross submissions.

Local submissions asked for the existing precautionary GE policy be set in law, and for liability for any problems caused by GE experiments to fall on the applicants. Kaipara's precautionary GE policy is already in the council's 2009/19 Long Term Council Community Plan (TCCP) and Annual Plan 2010/ll.

Ms Grammer said Plant and Food's last-minute cross submission was both inappropriate and misleading.

"A New Zealand crown research institute with such an appalling track record of botched GE experiments should understand full well why local authorities are considering putting in place additional safeguards against genetically modified organisms," she said.

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.

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html?scp=1&sq=Farmers%20Cope%20With%20Roundup-Resistant%20Weeds&st=cse

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

Christopher Berkey for The New York Times

Jason Hamlin, a certified crop adviser and agronomist, looks for weeds resistant to glyphosate in Dyersburg, Tenn. By WILLIAM NEUMAN and ANDREW POLLACK

Published: May 3, 2010


On a recent afternoon here, Mr. Anderson watched as tractors crisscrossed a rolling field — plowing and mixing herbicides into the soil to kill weeds where soybeans will soon be planted.

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds.

To fight them, Mr. Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

"We’re back to where we were 20 years ago," said Mr. Anderson, who will plow about one-third of his 3,000 acres of soybean fields this spring, more than he has in years. "We’re trying to find out what works."

Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water.

"It is the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen," said Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

NORTHERN COUNCILS AGREE TO "LAST DITCH" EFFORT TO HAVE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FIX FLAWED GE LEGISLATION

GE FREE NORTHLAND

Press Release 1 April 2010

NORTHERN COUNCILS AGREE TO "LAST DITCH" EFFORT TO HAVE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FIX FLAWED GE LEGISLATION

 

GE FREE Northland welcomes the news that Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Far North District Council (FNDC) have voted to join the other member councils of the "Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Options" in making a last ditch effort this year to further lobby central government to amend the flaws in the HSNO Act.

The vote took place at the last full council meeting of FNDC (25 March) and the 17 March 2010 meeting of the NRC Environment Management Committee.

The NRC vote was unanimous, gaining the support not of only councillors but of a cross-section of interested parties from Northland.

"This is a timely decision. We await only Auckland Regional Councils decision on April 20 this year," said GE FREE NORTHLAND Chairman Martin Robinson.

The Court of Appeal has overturned last year’s High Court decision against AgResearch, which wants conditional release of transgenic animals in undisclosed locations in the North Island.

"It is all the more critical that local councils do everything they can to get much needed changes into the HSNO Act. This includes a truly strict liability regime," said Mr Robinson.

The Chairman of the NRC Environmental Management committee, Cr Craig Brown has voiced his concerns.

"While I’m very pleased with the NRC’s decision, I am of the opinion that if this persistent lobbying of central government continues to be unsuccessful in persuading government to take the appropriate action… that the regional council and territorial authorities of Northland need to put strong precautionary measures in their District Plans, the Regional Plan and RPS."

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