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A New Zealand minister says the country's genetic modification laws need to be re-examined, as they could be a stumbling block to developing new ways to help combat climate, the New Zealand Herald reports.

A governmental report from the Interim Climate Change Committee found that the country's regulations regarding genetic modification could limit the ability to lower emissions on farms, it adds. According to the Herald, the committee noted that genetically modified ryegrass developed by AgResearch to limit to methane and nitrous oxide emissions by livestock has to be tested in the US and cannot be used in New Zealand.

"If we are going make progress on this, if they are challenging us and saying that they think the regulatory environment we have essentially fails us in terms of producing the climate outcomes that we need, then we need to take a look at them," Climate Change Minister James Shaw says.

The Herald notes, though, that the Green Party — which Shaw co-leads — isn't shifting its position against genetic modification.