“New Zealand can’t afford to be left behind as genetic engineering advancements transform the agriculture sector,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“As part of ACT's Real Change Budget, we would make changes to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act to allow the agriculture industry to access game-changing technology that can revolutionise agriculture.

“Take the High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass invented by New Zealand’s own AgResearch. The grass has the potential to reduce livestock methane emissions by around 23 per cent and ensure less nitrogen is excreted into the environment by livestock feeding on this ryegrass. The only problem is that thanks to our outdated legislation it is illegal to use in New Zealand.

“If the Government is serious about reducing agricultural emissions it should be looking at solutions like this, not taxing and destocking.

“Our trans-tasman neighbours modernised their laws in October 2019, we need to do the same or other nations will leap ahead of us.

“ACT would liberalise New Zealand’s laws on genetic engineering and allow New Zealand’s agricultural industry to be a leader, not a laggard, in the field.”