NZ Herald: Top UK scientist urges NZ to keep open mind on GM

Eloise Gibson writes in the New Zealand Herald that the PM’s chief science advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’s UK counterpart, Professor John Beddington, has suggested that New Zealand reevaluate its position on GM.

Saying that to classify GM either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is not the right approach, he said it had a powerful role to play in food production.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“In an interview with the Herald before the decision was released, Professor Beddington said biotechnology, including GM, had a role to play in food production.

“”We’ve got to think of these things on a case-by-case basis.” If, for example, a particular problem – whether it was of a plant disease or a particularly harsh environment – could be solved with GM technology, it should be considered, he said.

“Advocates of GM plants say they could be used to help solve looming crises of water shortages and climate change.

“New Zealand researchers hope to develop GM animals that could provide milk proteins to treat rare human diseases.

“But critics say the benefits of GM plants and animals have either not been proven or could be gained equally well by traditional selective breeding and laboratory trials.”