Source: Stuff

Research into genetically modified (GM) technologies that could deliver environmental benefits needs to be reconsidered by regulators, the farming sector and consumers, the New Zealand Productivity Commission.

A recent report from the commission, titled Reaching for the Frontier, said research of GM technologies was an important pathway to innovation in the primary industry and offered new opportunities to respond to climate risks, biosecurity threats and could also boost farm productivity.

“Gene-editing technologies can be used to improve plant traits such as drought tolerance, disease resistance, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in grazed animals, and animal traits such as increased disease resistance,” the report said.

GM organisms and technologies are regulated by New Zealand’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. The purpose of the act was to protect the environment and communities by preventing or managing the adverse effects of hazardous substances and new organisms.