New Zealand's genetically modified organism regulations to be reviewed, Environment Minister David Parker says

  • 26/06/2022

The Government is set to review some elements of New Zealand's genetic modification regulation, Environment Minister David Parker says.

Widespread protests in the 1990s and a Royal Commission of Inquiry in 2001 led to New Zealand putting in place some of the world's tightest genetic modification regulations.

But the Climate Change and Productivity Commissions have since called for New Zealand to review its stance.

Parker told Newshub Nation on Saturday, that the Government is not changing the rules related to the release of a genetically modified organism (GMO) into the environment but looking to see if the regulatory settings around biomedical research and laboratory research are outdated. 

"For example, mammalian cell lines that can't persist alive outside of the lab and never produce an inheritable characteristic which is nonetheless regulated highly, as if they were something that could, live outside the lab or pass on a heritable characteristic," he said. 

"So we're looking at that sort of thing and easing up on the regulation of those less risky."

Parker said the review would be looking into ways to help make research easier. 

"It's a research benefit for the development, perhaps of new medicines in terms of what will happen in practice," Parker said. 

"In terms of your or my lives, you know, nothing other than the eventual outcomes of good medical research, bringing forward new technologies that improve health outcomes."

Currently, no genetically modified organism (GMO) may leave a New Zealand laboratory without approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To date, only one GMO has been approved for unconditional release in New Zealand, a vaccine for horses.

Watch the full interview with David Parker above.

Watch Newshub Nation 9:30am Saturday/10am Sunday on TV3 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Newshub Nation is supported by NZ On Air.