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Crop Biotech Update

New Zealand's ERMA Approves GM Onion Trial

September 14, 2007

New Zealand’s Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has approved the field trial of the Crop and Food Research’s onion modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, sold as Roundup. The approval was made following allegations that Crop and Food Research has breached biosecurity rules by importing GM onion seeds from the US.  

In a press release, ERMA cleared Crop and Food Research of the allegations following a thorough inspection and checking the relevant approvals. Dr. Libby Harrison, ERMA’s general manager, said "In November 2004 when the approval to import the GM onion seed was reviewed, ERMA found a very minor administrative error, that Crop and Food had used the wrong form. They corrected the error promptly." "The regulatory regime for genetically modified organisms in New Zealand is one of the most stringent in the world. Every step in the research process has been assessed and approved by the appropriate authorities," Dr. Harrison added.  

Read the press release at http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/news-events/archives/media-releases/2007/mr-20070910.html