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NZ examines GM fungus security breach

The New Zealand authorities are investigating a security breach involving a genetically modified fungus at Lincoln University (Lincoln). The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)is examining how the modified Beauveria bassiana fungus was present in glasshouses and laboratories outside approved containment facilities. The fungus had been modified with a marker gene to allow its isolation from mixed cultures. “There is no evidence to suggest the genetic modifications made to the fungus in these labs have increased any health risk to humans or animals,” says Roger Smith, the MPI’s deputy director general, verification and services. B bassiana is used as a bioinsecticide.

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