In a big loss for the Green Party in New Zealand, the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has rejected the idea of a country free of genetically engineered crops and animals. The commission determined that biotech foods need not “threaten New Zealand’s ‘clean green’ image,” recommending that research on the foods “proceed with caution,” including limiting the size of any release of genetically engineered organisms and increasing the amount of follow-up safety monitoring on released organisms. The commission’s report, the first of its kind from an industrialized country, studied the cultural, economic, environmental, health, and legal implications of biotech foods.

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