TVNZ: GE weeds spread from containment glasshouse

A piece by TVNZ on MAF’s investigation of a potential GM-trial breach on the Lincoln campus of Crown Research Institute, Plant & Food Research.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The problem is over arabidopsis thaliana, a weed for which Plant and Food – and the two state science companies from which it was created, Crop and Food and Hortresearch – have won at least 30 different approvals to genetically engineer.

“A favourite of laboratory researchers since it was the first plant to have its genome sequenced, arabidopsis is a member of the mustard plant family, and related to broccoli and cauliflower.

“Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) officials are investigating the spread of genetically engineered plants into the wider environment around a containment glasshouse.

“The feral plants have tested positive for GE constructs, but the ministry did not say what traits those modified.

“Because arabidopsis weeds are widespread in New Zealand, the extensive population may provide a wide-ranging host population for any GE material which escapes the site.”