3 Sep 2012

Agricultural biotechnology conference opens in Rotorua

6:34 am on 3 September 2012

About 200 scientists from New Zealand and other countries, along with members of the agriculture and horticulture industries, are gathering in Rotorua on Sunday for the opening of the 12th International Conference of Agricultural Biotechnology.

Among the speakers at the conference are the biotechnology vice-presidents of Monsanto and Du Pont.

Programme committee chair Roger Hellens says a lot of the justification for biotechnology research has been about its economic benefits, with social and environmental benefits of secondary concern.

He says that is changing as growers become more concerned about water scarcity and New Zealand's environmental footprint.