Genetically-modified organisms field tests

Field tests and outdoor developments of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) are an important part of the our work.

In a field test or outdoor development, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are kept within outdoor enclosures where there are physical barriers, such as fences. Operating procedures, such as preventing plants from flowering, are also used to keep the GM plant or animal within its secure enclosure.

These activities are classed as being in containment within approved facilities.

Active field tests and outdoor developments in New Zealand Plus

The approvals for the following field tests/outdoor developments currently taking place in New Zealand require the applicant(s) to provide a report to the EPA annually.

Copies of these reports can be found in our monitoring and reporting section - choose the GM field trials approval holders' reports from the drop-down.

GMO field tests and outdoor developments approved prior to July 1998 Plus

Prior to July 1998, field tests involving GMOs were approved or declined by the Minister for the Environment following assessment and recommendation by the Interim Assessment Group.

Field tests approved before July 1998 (pdf 135KB)

GMO field tests and outdoor developments approved since July 1998 Plus

Since July 1998, the decision on field test and outdoor development applications has been made by us. 

The tables below show the field tests and outdoor developments that have been approved since July 1998.  

Table to show approvals for field tests of GM crop and ornamental plants

Approvals of field tests of GM crop and ornamental plants

Approval date

​Status of field test

Petunias with altered plant form or pigmentation (GMF98002)

November 1998 Complete​d

Sugar beet with herbicide tolerance (GMF98004)  

March 1999 Complete​d

Maize with herbicide tolerance (GMF98005) 

​October 1999 ​Did not commence

Maize with insect resistance (GMF98006) 

​October 1999 ​Did not commence

Potato with resistance to bacterial soft rots (GMF98007) 

December 1998 Completed

Potato with insect resistance (GMF98008) 

December 1998 Completed

Onion modified for herbicide resistance (GMF03001) 

​December 2003 ​Completed

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and forage kale with insect resistance (GMF06001)

​May 2007 ​Approval expired February 2013.

Completed

Onion, spring onion, garlic and leek with altered agronomic and quality traits (GMF06002) 

​November 2008

​Approval to November 2018.
Not commenced

 Table to show approvals for field tests of GM trees

Approvals for field tests of GM trees

Approval date

Status of field test

Radiata pine modified with maker genes (GMF98011)                                            

​December 1998 Did not commence                     

Radiata pine with altered reproductive development (GMF99001) 

December 2000 Approval to December 2020.

No activity is occurring under this approval

Radiata pine and Norway spruce with herbicide resistance (GMF99005) 

December 2000 Approval to December 2019.

No activity is occurring under this approval

Radiata pine with altered plant growth/biomass acquisition, reproductive development, herbicide tolerance,utilisable biomass, wood density and dimensional stability (ERMA200479)                                     

​December 2010 Approval to December 2035. 

Currently operating

 Table to show approvals for field tests or outdoor developments of GM animals

Approvals for field tests or outdoor developments of GM animals

Approval date

Status of field test

Sheep that produce human alpha-1-antitrypsin in their milk (GMF98001) 

​March 1999 ​Completed

Sheep with inactivated myostatin genes (GMF99004) 

October 2000​
​Did not commence

Cattle with altered milk composition (have disrupted beta-lactoglobulin gene or carry extra copies of the cattle casein gene) (GMF98009 Part I) 

​November 1999 ​Completed. 

All research is now conducted under the approval for  ERMA200223 (below)

Cattle which produce human myelin basic protein in milk (GMF98009 Part II)

May 2001 Completed.

All research is now conducted under the approval for ERMA200223 (below)

Cattle which produce therapeutic proteins in milk or used to study gene function and genetic performance (GMD02028) 

September 2002 Completed. 

All research is now conducted under the approval for ERMA200223 (below)

Cattle, sheep and goats which therapeutic proteins in milk or have altered levels of endogenous; proteins for the study of gene function, milk composition and disease resistance (application ERMA200223)

 April 2010 Approval to April 2030.

Currently operating

 Table to show approvals for field tests of GM microorganisms

Approvals for field tests of GM microorganisms

Prior to 2003 field tests included large scale fermentations of microorganisms.           

Approval date    

Status of field test

E. coli bacteria to produce proteins for a hydatids vaccine (GMF98010) 

June 1999 ​Did not commence