Could gene editing be an alternative to 1080?

  • 07/10/2018

As debate continues over the use of 1080 as a pest control, the role gene editing could play is being highlighted.

A new discussion paper from the Royal Society Te Apārangi suggests gene editing could bring a range of benefits for the agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors, zoning in on apples, mānuka, ryegrass, wilding pines, and dairy cows.

The report has been welcomed by Federated Farmers, which believes the technology could have wide ranging benefits.

"Even though the paper talks a lot about enhancing different types of production, we think there is also plenty of scope for discussion about other potential benefits from gene editing," Federated Farmers president Katie Milne said.

Federated Farmers President Katie Milne.
Federated Farmers President Katie Milne. Photo credit: Newshub


She thinks it could impact on pest control in the future.

"We are particularly excited about the possibilities around using gene editing to control pests - especially possums and stoats," she said.

"To be predator-free by 2050, we are going to have to come up with some pretty clever science to wipe out all of those furry pests who dine on some of the tastiest, unique and endangered species the world has," Ms Milne said.