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Federated Farmers says there is nothing sinister in breeding plant hybrids, and it is not unnatural for cows to eat more than just grass

Rural News
Federated Farmers says there is nothing sinister in breeding plant hybrids, and it is not unnatural for cows to eat more than just grass

Content supplied by Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers’ President and science spokesperson William Rolleston says recent stock sickness or deaths are likely to have been caused by a high sugar content in the fodder beet they have been eating.

“It’s got nothing to do with genetic modification as GE Free New Zealand has speculated.  Fodder beet has only recently been brought into widespread use in New Zealand and unfortunately some farmers are still coming to terms with how to best feed it to their stock.”

“We know there is a problem with stock feed transition and there is some cautious advice, such as that from Dairy New Zealand, on how to manage feed of fodder beet without complications.”

“Stock have been fed crops, such as fodder beet, for generations.  Digestion problems, such as acidosis, are known stock disorders.  It can happen when stock are transitioned to a number of high sugar or starch feeds, such as barley or wheat. Proper management, and attention to feed requirements of energy, roughage, protein and minerals will keep the stock healthy.”

“Many of the crops and commercial plants we use and eat in New Zealand, including those accepted by the organics industry, have been produced using chemical or radiation mutagenesis.  It’s a process which has been used for decades, including in the breeding of the herbicide tolerant swedes which caused similar issues last year. For some to confuse this conventional breeding technique with modern genetic modification is simply nonsense.  It is designed to cause fear in local councils considering banning these technologies.”

Dr Rolleston says GE Free New Zealand has been desperate to link animal illness to genetic modification.

“The fact is that while hundreds of millions of hectares of genetically modified crops have been grown around the world over the past twenty years, not one case of human or animal illness can be attributed to these approved crops.’

“This sort of misguided rhetoric highlights why Federated Farmers is advocating against local councils banning genetic modification. Genetic modification is already regulated by the Environmental Protection Authority, through the HSNO legislation.  Additional local regulation will only add an unnecessary burden to ratepayers.  It will deny farmers the choice to use safe technologies for the benefit of the environment, the economy and the community.”

“The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification in 2001 concluded that we should proceed with caution and preserve our opportunities. Federated Farmers agrees with this conclusion.”

“When people issue press statements suggesting there is something sinister in breeding plant hybrids, inventing toxins and that it is unnatural for cows to eat anything but grass, then we are not having the debate on genetic modification we ought to be having.”


William Rolleston is the President of Federated Farmers.

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Interesting that the head of our Federated Farmers organisation William Rolleston believes herbicide sprayed crop is a suitable feed for cows to eat.
I assume he believes the milk and meat produced by cows consuming herbicide sprayed crops is completely safe also - and I suggest he comes up with the independently produced, in NZ trials, which prove this, as the trials produced by the chemical companies marketing these seeds can never be considered independent!

Interesting also that he apppears not to have read and understood the Seralini study into the effects of GMO's on animals consuming them and the recent news that RoundUp is now to be considered a carcinogen.
I am very pleased our Councils have shown the forethought (and cynicism of Governments) in deciding to ban GMO's in their areas.
William Rollestons comment that "not one case of human or animal illness can be attributed to these approved crops..." ignores the huge deterioration in health in the USA where large amounts of GMO's are consumed.
Another one paid off by the Monsanto's of this world? Maybe.
Certanly if Federated Farmers continues to push for the introduction of GMO's into the NZ environment they will lose our yearly payment to them.


The solid majority of our customers have made themselves very clear. They do not want GMO (frankengenes) based products. they use that knowledge in their buying decisions - Mon-scum-o rather than improve product are trying very hard to remove the customers access to that information so they can't use it in their buying decisions. That Mon-scum-o would do that, rather than improve product, says all that needs to be said; ie that they do not care for customer or product only forcing others to consume their products regardless.


They lost my yearly payment a few years ago due to their stand on GMO's.

Obviously William Rolleston in not up with much of the science being undertaken around the world!!…

Then there is this study.

"Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone."

Anyone who thinks that any plant designed to withstand round-up is safe for animal, humans, or the microbiota of all species is safe and palatable is a very foolish person who is ignoring all the science.


They can always find someone to say that it's ok. Remember the doctors the smoking industry trotted out to prove smoking was safe, indeed good for you.