GM modified pine trees destroyed in raid
Fri, 13 Apr 2012 6:04p.m.
It has taken a whole week for the crime to be made public, but that is only one of the mysteries of a raid that destroyed hundreds of genetically-modified trees at a research centre in Rotorua.
Not one of the 375 plants in the genetically-modified pine tree study into herbicide resistance and reproductive was spared and no one has claimed responsibility for the crime. Police are now looking for public help to catch the GM break-in gang.
“They’re criminals aren’t they? They’ve broken the law, they’ve put themselves above the law,” says CEO of Scion, Warren Parker.
No one from the outside world was meant to enter the testing area, but they got around an outer fence and then, amazingly, dug under the inner security fence before destroying the trees.
“The inner security fence is two metres high with electric wiring and electronic triggering systems but by digging underneath it they avoided some of those controls,” says Mr Parker.
And by some of those controls, he means all of those controls. Staff did not notice the break-in until they returned to work on Tuesday, after the long Easter break.
The trees were planted last August for a trial that was meant to take two to three years. Now, new genetically modified trees will have to be planted, and the trial started again.
The incident is the second security break at Scion in four years. And the group GE free says it is not good enough.
“How the hell did they not have 24-hour observation of a very significant field trial in New Zealand which many people would be even surprised to know happened,” says Jon Carapiet of GE Free.
GE Free had been actively monitoring this latest trial but insists it had nothing to do with the illegal break-in.
And it is not sure what it thinks about it either.
“I don’t condone or condemn it,” says Mr Carapiet.
“This technology has substantial benefit to New Zealand, that’s why we’ve been so persistent in pursuing this,” says Mr Parker.
The genetically-modified security breach is embarrassing and expensive - It will cost $400,000 to replant and $600,000 in lost research time.
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14/04/2012 10:35:02 a.m.
After reading a bit more, I still like the exploration of GE. However, I wouldn't want even 1 of those plants here in NZ.
14/04/2012 7:05:12 a.m.
Rage against gentechnology.
14/04/2012 3:29:29 a.m.
Anthony Samsel wrote:
As a scientist I applaud the efforts to identify and destroy all genetically engineered crops from sharing their pollen in the environment. The 'Precautionary Principle' is being ignored by Biotech companies at the expense of Public Health and the Environment.
Horizontal gene transfer and recombination of transgenic DNA is inherently designed to jump into genomes sometimes through virus or bacterial plasmids. This fact makes transgenic DNA different and more dangerous than naturally occurring DNA. It is time to act this Transgenic Beast must be stopped. I encourage you to write to foreign countries too! Tell them Monsanto lies.
It is becoming more apparent that the only way to deal with genetic engineering is to destroy it when you see it as demonstrated in this telling photograph from France of activists destroying Monsanto's GE hybrid maize (corn) MON810. www.dawn.com/2012/03/07/france-to-restore-gmo-maize-ban-within-days-mi.. Notice how engaged and how quickly and efficiently they perform their duty for humanity. The only thing missing is water to wet down the vial GE seeds to render them useless. The French and other passionate Europeans don't fool around they know ridding the planet of GMO's must happen now! Not tomorrow, not after more political debate to protect the rich. The time is now, just like the picture I posted last year of the French burning GE grape vines.
13/04/2012 8:56:15 p.m.
Corey Mickanuik wrote:
You're and idiot bukster. Tolerating cannabis and accepting things that are genetically modified are two totally different things. Cannabis has been around for as long as mankind and we know that it generally harmless and benign.
GE stuff is a totally different kettle of fish and we have no idea now how pine trees will look in 100 years time if we start screwing with them now and that goes for everything else and the clowns who trashed those pine should be given a pat on the back, just like the clowns who trashed the spy base
13/04/2012 8:32:09 p.m.
This little known private experiment should have had better bio-security , we don't need it in our food why think of this for trees it wont save the world , where is the public interest or insurance to cover mishaps or vandalism.The profit-driven 'scientists' have the nous to prove it is even safe.This unknown group were doing a type of civil disobediance-where is the public voice , the GE free guy was wiser,forceful,passionate,possibly wracked up to make a good tv debate yet he clearly won-'less security than a bus stop' , great line..
13/04/2012 6:59:14 p.m.
The usual argument put forward by greenies against GE is that it might be dangerous. Greenies can't usually prove it is dangerous, science can't prove it isn't dangerous to the greenies' satisfaction.
The irony is that when greenies say cannabis should be made legal, the counter argument is that it might be dangerous. No amount of scientific study will ever conclusively prove that cannabis is completely harmless or completely safe (it's probably neither).
So it's the same argument. Can't prove it's safe, might be dangerous, better not take the chance. So greenies destroy GE plants because there might be a danger. Politicians keep cannabis illegal for the same reason. Neither side will listen to the other. Kind of funny huh?
13/04/2012 6:59:09 p.m.
The truth of "round-up ready" is the destruction of native healthy species Be it Plant-Food Timber or animals!. Ask the Haitians where the Nutrient value of GE rice caused young prisoners to die in there hundreds from malnutrition even though rice was plentiful. SATAN Know how to kill you dead!.
13/04/2012 6:58:51 p.m.
"This technology has substantial benefit to New Zealand" -> money wise of course. I'm all for exploring genetic modification, but I really hope they have these in heavily controlled/contained environments. I had no idea they were growing GM pine in NZ and I can't say it sits well but isn't my business I suppose.
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