Crop Biotech Update

Royal Society of New Zealand on the Potential Benefits and Risks of GM Forages

March 5, 2010

The paper Emerging Issues - Genetically Modified Forages was recently published by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The paper reviews studies into the earlier rejection of genetically modified (GM) food by many consumers in the country which was found to be due to the country's clean green image. Scientists have since then focused efforts on developing GM forages which could be more socially acceptable. Consumers in New Zealand are concerned about the product themselves rather than the GM technology used, which may suggest that the use of GM forages in New Zealand may have little effect upon the overseas acceptance of the country's non-GM products.

Dr. Stephen Goldson, the Royal Society of New Zealand's Vice President of Biological and Life Sciences, said that the paper "seeks to inform the public on emerging and/or sometimes contentious issues around science and technology. In this case, the aim has been very much to enable any debate on the merits or otherwise of transgenic forages such that the process of making a decision around the use of transgenic forage plants is better informed. The paper does not seek to present a view in either direction."

For details, see the story at http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/Site/news/gm_forages.aspx