Time to follow the science for GMOs

Newshub reports:

One of New Zealand’s most divisive political issues is back in the spotlight as the Government moves to review some aspects of our decades-old regulation on genetic modification. 

Widespread protests in the 90s and a Royal Commission in 2001 led to New Zealand adopting some of the most stringent genetic modification in the world.

But since then calls have mounted, including from the Climate Commission and Productivity Commission, to review our stance in light of new technologies. 

Now Environment Minister David Parker is moving on the issue. 

“We are looking at whether some of the regulatory settings around biomedical research and laboratory research are a bit outdated,” he told Newshub Nation.  

However the changes will be narrow and focused solely on the sector. 

What a shame the review will be so timid and minor.

We now have over 20 years of data on genetic modification. There has been zero adverse events. We are scientists from doing science and using science for no good reason.

Scientists like Professor Andrew Allan are frustrated by not being able to use every tool at their disposal to combat climate change.    

“New Zealand needs to be cleaner and greener in the future. I totally agree with that image. But with it is going to be a brown wasteland if we don’t fight back. Fighting back on climate change requires technology,” he said. 

“Gene editing is revolutionary for plant biology. We can go in and make slight new variants of key genes, and then the resulting plant is better. Coping with climate change. It could be higher nutrition. All sorts of new features.”

I’ll believe the Greens are sincere on being an existential threat when they scrap their opposition to GM and nuclear technologies.

“The time frames that it takes to develop these technologies and test them and prove them are not the timeframes we have. We need to act now on what we know will address the problem of climate change,” Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Steve Abel told Newshub Nation.

So even Greenpeace are saying we should make it easier to use GM. Good on them.

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