[15 February/NZ Herald]

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) were reviewing how rules may apply to products that can be altered genetically, but without any introduced DNA. New breeding techniques (NBTs) are a set of technologies being developed and applied in plant and animal breeding. There was doubt whether the outputs of these technologies should be treated as foods produced using gene technology as some of the new techniques could be used to make certain changes to the genetic make-up of an organism without permanently introducing any new DNA. There has been debate over foods using NBT and whether they needed to be assessed and approved before entering the market.  FSANZ’s Chief Executive, Mark Booth, said a range of new techniques have been developed since the standard was introduced almost 20 years ago. He added that at this stage they weren’t proposing any code changes or labelling issues, however would consider all feedback and if necessary consult with the community. Otago University Geneticist, Professor Peter Dearden, said these technologies use lab manipulation to change DNA, but don’t involve direct DNA insertion.