Tag Archives: AgResearch

“The US military .. have very long fingers” – DARPA is sizing up our islands with $100 mill funding for gene drive (GE) technology on rats

“… the rise of the predator-free movement has intersected neatly with the bold new frontier of gene drive technology.” NZ Herald

This NZ Herald article,  as is common with mainstream media material, likely flew under the radar on 4th December. Judging by the disbelief from the public at our recent posts on this topic, it clearly didn’t get noticed. The article is basically an expanded version of the last one on topic here, and straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak. It is coaxing you into the up sides of GE. GE Free NZ however has now issued a warning about gene drive tech, that post is coming tomorrow. Read our previous posts on topic over the past week (in archives for December 2017, left column of News page, or search GMO in categories also to the left). Particularly also, search the GE Free NZ site for further info on the GE topic. GE is being sold to the NZ public as good for our health and environment among other things while the down sides are quickly dismissed, swept under the carpet or downplayed by media. As GE Free NZ points out, these GM animals end up euthanised with all kinds of health problems. We need to proceed (if at all) with extreme caution. Why ever does man think he can improve on nature?
EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

From the NZ Herald

“Overseas researchers interested in pest control or eradication are all looking at New Zealand,” says Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague.

‘When Kiwi rat killing expert Doctor James Russell was told his research was being sized up for United States military funding, he wasn’t surprised.

“The US military – they have very long fingers. Even through the universities in New Zealand, they have a representative that comes around and just asks, ‘hey, what are you guys up to’.

“And obviously we’re in the business of eradicating entire populations of animals from an island and so they have cocked their ear towards me once or twice.

“You don’t have to be a genius to see that there’s potential military application in that.”
In this instance, Russell’s work was being measured for suitability against a US$100 million research pot made available by the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa)

Also being evaluated were remote islands around New Zealand, sized up for live trials of genetically modified rodents.

The interest in Russell and New Zealand emerged during an investigation into the activities of a multi-national science advocacy and gene drive research body called Gbird.
It has a US$6.5m slice of that Darpa money and has been considering how to spend that in New Zealand.

READ MORE
What is gene drive technology and what does it mean for New Zealand?

The detail was revealed in a database of emails and documents charting Gbird’s growing focus on New Zealand – and the involvement of a taxpayer-owned Crown Research Institute which told the consortium it would make gene drive research a focus of “NZ Inc”.

It shows how the rise of the predator-free movement has intersected neatly with the bold new frontier of gene drive technology.

Gene drive research is the latest, greatest frontier in science as scientists grapple with the implications of genetic manipulation to remove inherited characteristics from subsequent generations. For example, wiping out one gender from a population of rats means no more rats.’

The database of more than 2000 documents released by North Carolina State University (NCSU) reveal Gbird’s interest in New Zealand as a possible test site and its efforts to get alongside those leading our fight against predators.

​The documents show careful efforts by Gbird – Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents – to shape its image and manage possible fallout associated with the US$6.5m pool of Darpa cash.

Among the documents is the report of the meeting with Russell’s meeting in mid-2017 with Gbird’s co-ordinator Royden Saah.

After the meeting, Saah reported to Gbird members: “Co-ordinating with James Russell. Appears no NZ islands meet the strict criteria used within Darpa grant.

“We are now considering small NZ islands that don’t have rodents present that could be used as trial sites, with mice sourced from remote NZ islands larger than our 300ha cut-off that may be future targets themselves.”

First it’s important to understand where New Zealand sits in the world of pest eradication.

Our national goal of wiping out possums, rats and stoats roughly sits with the research focus of leading thinkers on gene drive technology.

That’s because it’s not just about being able to create new technology but what you do with it. And in a world of potential – agricultural or medical benefits – conservation has become a core area of interest to gene drive researchers.

Gene drive technology appeared to offer definite answers to those seeking to eradicate predators. It also offered a permissive, public-friendly area in which to explore new technology.

A critical aspect of new technology is the willingness of society to allow new frontiers to be explored.

August-2017-Comprehensive-GBIRd-Update-2-p1-normal (1).gif

US military money has come with researchers wanting to kill Kiwi rats using gene tech.
NZHERALD.CO.NZ

GM Cow Trials in New Zealand Show Disastrous Results

Our supposedly ‘clean green’ country (and don’t get me wrong, I love my country) is sold to the world as being GE/GMO free. I’ve been repeating this often on here that we are not. (Read a quote from the Green Party on GE animal feed). Back in 2000 Nicky Hager wrote in his book ‘Seeds of Distrust’ that GE Corn was grown here in several different locations, without the public’s knowledge and obviously without their consent. Once uncovered, the PM at the time,

plant-476921_1280
PM Helen Clarke initially ordered the GE corn be pulled up … then did an about turn (‘Seeds of Distrust’ by Nicky Hager)

Helen Clarke ordered the crops be pulled up and disposed of, however after some discussion and clearly corporate persuasion, the crops were left in and went to full term and harvest. How many other organic or otherwise crops were contaminated? Who knows given the industry is inclined to secrecy and an aversion to labeling of anything containing their poisonous products?  As a result of all this the bar of acceptance levels was raised a little higher, widening the previously thin end of the wedge so to speak. It’s happening by increments folks. So here now we are being told of a 15 year excursion into biological experiments on genetically modified/engineered (whatever you like to call tinkering with nature) cows … and note, with ‘disastrous results’.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 


Read the article here, from Sustainable Pulse: 

Cows in Spring
NZ Cows are fed GE stock feed

“GE Free NZ ‘s report on “GE Animals in New Zealand: the first fifteen years, 2000 – 2015”, documents the world’s first field trials of genetically modified cows, bred to express one of six transgenic protein traits in milk for use as bio-pharmaceutical products. Agresearch has conducted the research at their Ruakura facility in Hamilton.

Using AgResearch’s own records, the report catalogues a sad and profoundly disturbing story that has characterised the genetic engineering (GE) trials.

The surrogate and transgenic cows suffer from chronic illness, reproductive losses, sudden unexplained deaths, and severe deformities.

In the course of fifteen years of experimentation, many thousands of transgenic embryos, predominately developed offshore in private partnership laboratories, have been used…”

“Omission and selective reporting of important experimental data to the media has enabled AgResearch to avoid scrutiny into the tragic results of using animals as bioreactors.”

http://sustainablepulse.com/2015/10/23/gm-cow-experiments-in-new-zealand-show-disastrous-results/#.Viml4uwmytK