With its biotech scientists forced overseas, New Zealand should rethink strict GMO rules, official says

Image: Stuff
Image: Stuff

New Zealand has a proud history of innovators and pioneering entrepreneurs who have turned ideas into world-beating businesses. It is vital that as a country we continue to nurture our best and brightest and give them every opportunity to pursue their dreams here. We need to make sure our settings are right and that our decisions are based on the latest science and technology.

[Editor’s note: Parmjeet Parmar is National’s spokesperson for New Zealand’s Research, Science and Innovation.]

Two crown research institutes have been forced to test their latest innovations overseas because New Zealand’s biotechnology rules make it too hard to realize their potential here.

Related article:  Post-Green Revolution study: Projected crop yields unable to feed the world by 2050, we need GMOs, gene editing and other 'genetic strategies'

AgResearch’s HME ryegrass is expected to reduce farm methane and nitrous oxide emissions and nitrogen leaching while improving productivity, but the New Zealand-funded, five-year trial to test those claims is being done in the United States.

Biotechnology has advanced so fast that, as the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, Juliet Gerrard, says the regulatory framework “is not coping well with the introduction of new technologies.” The former chief scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, held a similar view.

Read full, original article: Why NZ should rethink rules on genetic modification

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