New Zealand may reverse its stance on GM foods

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The debate of whether New Zealand should grow genetically modified crops could be shifting away from the anti-GM stance the country has been in for the past few years.

Gone are the massive protests against the consideration of using GM crops.

Federated Farmers vice president William Rolleston, Ph.D., once said “forbidding the use of genetically modified (GM) products is a crime against humanity.”

Rolleston told attendees at a Chamber of Commerce event last week that although the public protesting has decreased and public attitudes seem to have changed, all research, development, importation and laws regarding GM crops have remained in the past.

“Public attitudes have changed,” he told the Nelson Mail. “The community isn’t so opposed to it [GM]. I’m not saying they want it as a whole, but there’s been a bit of change in the last 10 years. I’m not pro or anti-GM, but we need to have access to all the scientific tools available, and GM is part of that.”

Rolleston is also the Science and Innovation Ministry Board chairman and a member of the Science Board. He warned that New Zealand risked falling behind in agriculture if it did not consider the use of GM crops. He stressed that the government needs to invest in more research and technology to improve the country’s food value and production against decreasing land use.


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anonymous    
September, 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Is this a joke? I think you will find the majority of New Zealanders will not want to consume GMO foods. There is enough evidence to state that GMOs affects your health and makes farmers dependent on the suppliers of the seeds. If companies like Monsanto thinks it can start business in NZ - it will have a fight on its hands. Seriously a company that deals in chemicals supplying food!!

Bryan    
TN  |  September, 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

It is no joke!!! The people of New Zealand realize that to feed a growing population on less land, with less water, and to do it in a manner that is safer for the environment, they need to plant GMO crops.

anonymous    
September, 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Is this a joke? I think you will find the majority of New Zealanders will not want to consume GMO foods. There is enough evidence to state that GMOs affects your health and makes farmers dependent on the suppliers of the seeds. If companies like Monsanto thinks it can start business in NZ - it will have a fight on its hands. Seriously a company that deals in chemicals supplying food!!

Bryan    
TN  |  September, 26, 2012 at 11:54 AM

It is no joke!!!! New Zealand finally realizes that to feed a growing population, on less land, with less water, and in a manner that is safer for the environment, they need to utilize GMO crops. GMO's allow farmers to produce higher yields, with less crop protection products, on more marginal land. "Seriously a company that deals in chemicals supplying food!!" To imply that the food is somehow manufactured at a chemical plant is irrational and a scare tactic. Monsanto provides research and technology to seed companies that then incorporate that technology into the crops to provide natural resistance to insects and other pests. This technology allows for less crop protection products to be applied on the crop.

Simon    
September, 26, 2012 at 08:43 PM

GMO foods will provide many benefits: Pesticide free food: If crops can be made more resistant to pest outbreaks, it would reduce the use of pesticides on crops, and it is already happening. Farmers are growing maize, cotton and potatoes that no longer have to be sprayed with the bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensi More nutritious staple foods: By inserting genes into crops such as rice and wheat, we can increase their nutritional value. For example, genes responsible for producing vitamins and healthy omega 3 can be inserted into plants. More food from less land: Improved productivity from GMOs might mean that farmers in the next century won't have to bring so much marginal land into cultivation.

T    
San Ramon, CA  |  December, 24, 2012 at 01:00 AM

Pesticide Free? The last thing you want is to introduce the devil Monsanto or the poison that is GMO crops to NZ. We are fighting now to try to just LABEL our products with "GMO-Inside" and are being fought with much opposition because General Mills, Monsanto and Pepsi (for example) know that there will be a huge loss in sales. Monsanto spent 47mil to stop that bill from passing in California last election. Over 150 countries in the EU label their products for GMOs. They are found to cause shorter life span, reproductive harm, gastrointestinal harm, and immune diseases, along with food allergies and chronic illness from comsumption of eating the soy, canola, sugar and our main one in the US, CORN. High fructose corn syrup and corn feed fed to animals is everywhere in the US, you do NOT want to see this in NZ. Keep NZ natural. Monsanto genetically splits their seeds and puts a gene that is resistant to round-up in it. This gene has been known to cause toxic level in the body when digested. So, the farmers then spray the farms with their herbicides, and the GMO crops don't die. But, now the pests and weeds are becoming resistant to herbicide just like antibiotics, and they have to use something stronger 2,4-D, which is 50% of Agent Orange. Is this what you want to see happen in your country? Almost 15 years of eating this food and I now have food allergies and immune disorders. I would like to move to NZ someday. Keep your beautiful country organic. :)

Brent    
Canada  |  February, 21, 2013 at 07:59 PM

If GMO crops are introduced this is what will happen... 1. Chemical use will increase. 2. Nutrition will decrease. 3. GMO plants will become weeds and will be in the environment permanently. 4. It will become impossable to produce organic honey. 5. Disease in animals and humans will increase. 6. chemical resistance will become common in the weeds that are the target for the chemicals. That's just the begining.

Susan    
Port Ludlow, wa, USA  |  June, 30, 2013 at 09:38 AM

Read the unbiased science (not Monsanto Sponsored) read the farmers stories, look at what has happened to Indian farmers, and then tell us you actually believe what you wrote. Time to take your head out of the sand.


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