5 Nov 2013

Group questions value of GE pasture

2:32 pm on 5 November 2013

GE Free New Zealand questions why scientists here still want to pursue the genetic engineering approach to developing new pasture plants.

Grasslands scientists say the tight restrictions on being able to do genetically modified field trials in this country are an ongoing barrier to developing more productive and drought resistant pasture species.

They are having to rely on overseas research where genetic modification is involved.

But GE Free national spokesperson Jon Carapiet says Massey University research funded by Dairy NZ has already provided farmers with the answers, using mixed pastures of drought-tolerant alternatives to ryegrass.

He says that mixed forage, planted early in the season, allows roots to go deeper and that combined with a mixture of different kinds of plants provides resilience against drought.

He also says GE runs counter to New Zealand's global marketing position.