Agriculture

NZ EPA is to review 40 chemicals, not glyphosate - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 18, 2018

The NZ EPA is to review 40 chemicals it has selected as of highest concern. This list doesn’t include glyphosate. We all like to know what we’re up against when using chemicals, so that we can avoid unnecessary risk. That’s one of the aims of the EPA:[1] to offer rulings and information to help us. I’m interested in genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) … Read More

Glyphosate is to go back to trial - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 13, 2018

Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos[1] has written a Tentative Ruling that glyphosate is to go back to trial. I’m not a lawyer, but her ruling looks pretty damning. Let’s have a look at what it says. What’s a Tentative Ruling? Tentative rulings are preliminary indications of rulings ahead of the final ruling. (Lawyers indicate these tentative rulings rarely differ substantially … Read More

Food Evolution – screening at Queenstown August 31st - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Aug 27, 2018

Food Evolution, the movie, is screening at Queenstown at the end of the month. If you’re in the area, check it out. It’s free: you just have to register at EventBrite. The screening and panel discussion is in the Clancy’s Meeting Room, Level 5, Rydges Lakeland Resort, from 7pm on Fri. 31 August. The film is narrated by well-known science communicator … Read More

New Zealand’s zero carbon bill: much ado about methane - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 14, 2018

Robert McLachlan, Massey University New Zealand could become the first country in the world to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Leading up to the 2017 election, the now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern famously described climate change as “my generation’s nuclear-free moment”. The promised zero carbon bill is now underway, but in an unusual … Read More

Eradicating cattle disease M. bovis in New Zealand may be costly, even impossible, but we must try - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 13, 2018

Richard Laven, Massey University In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle. A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million. Here’s what we know, what we don’t know and … Read More

Thinking beyond the impossible burger - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jul 12, 2018

The agricultural sector has long been called a “sunset industry”. If so, it’s more a long drawn out polar twilight than a quick tropical dusk. Rosie Bosworth has written about New Zealand becoming the ‘Detroit of Agriculture’. Scary stuff, for some. A welcome transformation for others, if you read the opinion pieces. But are predictions of the … Read More

The ‘Impossible Burger’ is not genetically modified - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jul 06, 2018

In the New Zealand media and social media people are talking about this genetically modified ‘Impossible Burger’. Except it’s not. Sorry everyone, but it really isn’t genetically modified. What was genetic engineered is a yeast that makes one of the ingredients used in the ‘Impossible Burger’. It’s just a different way of making that ingredient. The ingredient is the same … Read More

The science behind the Impossible Burger - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Jul 05, 2018

Air New Zealand has just announced The Impossible Burger is now available to a minuscule number of their customers, a move described as an “existential threat” by New Zealand First’s Mark Patterson. So what is all the fuss is about? This week, Air New Zealand announced that Business Premier “foodies” on their Los Angeles to Auckland flights would be able … Read More

Remembering Peter Nelson’s advice – pest management for the 21st century - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Jun 14, 2018

Peter Nelson is remembered as a founder of modern, 21st Century, pest management in New Zealand. In 1993, reflecting on our nation’s failure to eradicate Australian brushtail possum, rabbits and deer, he wrote: “The aim of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is to reduce pest damage to tolerable levels by using a variety of techniques, and ultimately also to reduce … Read More

Why are we gifting so much to farmers? - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell May 29, 2018

Despite announcing yesterday a plan that aims to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand, there was no sign of the pro-active release of any background papers or analysis. We don’t have copies of the relevant Cabinet papers, or the relevant advice from The Treasury or MPI. Not that long ago, the incoming government talked of its commitment to open government, … Read More