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Professor Peter Dearden talks to Q+A about new genetic technologies

Tuesday 13 August 2019 10:53am

Dearden on Q+A_650
Professor Peter Dearden (left) talking with Jack Tame on Q + A (screenshot).

In an interview with Jack Tame on TVNZ's Q + A programme last night, Professor Peter Dearden clearly explained why he thinks it is time for New Zealand to re-think genetic technologies.

Recently, a panel set up by the Royal Society Te Apārangi completed an extensive consultation to consider the implications of new gene editing technologies.

Prof Dearden reiterated the findings of the consultation, including that these technologies have potentially great benefits for the country across many areas, including environmental pest management, healthcare, and primary industries, and that the current legislation regulating gene editing is confused and out of date.

He agreed that it is vital to look at the risks and benefits to the country of each proposed use, and that it is a very emotive subject.

"In the past, a lot of genetic modification has been presented in terms of international agriculture companies making money. This should be about us, and about things that we need to do."

Prof Dearden also urged more New Zealand scientists to join the discussion. 

"I'd like to see more of my scientist colleagues talking in the media and expressing their opinions, and showing where the risks and benefits actually are."

"This is a decision that needs to include all New Zealanders."

Watch the Q+A clip here

Read more about the Royal Society Te Apārangi panel conclusions here