Should NZ use contentious gene tech in our war on pests?

J. Morton,  NZ Herald,  2022.

Gene-altering technology could offer “breakthrough opportunities” for saving our pest-threatened species, a new future-scoping report says, but there’d be some tricky issues to address before it’d be a realistic option. Scientists have already been exploring how these contentious tools – among several areas canvassed in a new future-focused briefing by the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand – might aid our ongoing war on pest predators. But it’s doubtful that would happen anytime soon, given the tech isn’t yet ready, and the Government has little appetite toward making law changes that’d likely be needed to unleash it in our environment. The briefing, just put out for public feedback, explained how gene-editing tools like Crispr-Cas9 could be used to change particular genes or introduce new traits.

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