New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based in Wellington, New Zealand. The national orchestra of New Zealand, the NZSO is an autonomous Crown entity owned by the Government of New Zealand, per the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Act 2004, it is based in the Michael Fowler Centre and performs in the adjacent Wellington Town Hall. It performs in Auckland and Christchurch. A national orchestra for New Zealand was first proposed with the founding of the Radio Broadcasting Company in 1925, broadcasting studio orchestras operated in major cities from the late 1920s. A national orchestra was formed in 1939 for New Zealand's Centennial Exhibition in 1940; the orchestra became permanent in 1946 in the aftermath of World War II as the "National Orchestra of the New Zealand Broadcasting Service". It was managed as a department of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, which became Radio New Zealand, as the NZBC National Orchestra and the NZBC Symphony Orchestra; the orchestra was renamed the NZBC Symphony Orchestra in 1963, still being administered by Radio New Zealand.
In 1975, it became the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In 1988, the orchestra became independent of Radio New Zealand, began operating as an independent Crown-owned company under its current name, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. After the formal separation of the orchestra from Radio New Zealand, NZSO performances continue to be recorded and archived by Radio New Zealand Concert. Auckland Town Hall, Wellington Town Hall and Michael Fowler Centre performances are broadcast live-to-air and streamed online, performances in other centres or overseas cities are recorded and broadcast at dates; the NZSO has always had a heavy touring schedule within New Zealand. It performed in Christchurch as early as 1947, it performs its core series of 12 programmes in Wellington and Auckland, about half of those in Hamilton and Dunedin, visits several provincial cities each year. It has several times toured overseas, notably in 2005 to the BBC Proms, the Snape Maltings, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the World Expo at Aichi in Japan.
Franz-Paul Decker was the last NZSO conductor to have the title of chief conductor, had the title of Conductor Laureate until his death in May 2014. The first conductor to have the title of Music Director of the NZSO was James Judd, from 1999 to 2007. Judd is now the orchestra's Music Director Emeritus. In May 2007, Pietari Inkinen was named the NZSO's second Music Director, he formally took up the post in January 2008. Inkinen subsequently took the title of honorary conductor. In June 2015, the NZSO announced the appointment of Edo de Waart as its next music director, with his first concerts in March 2016; the orchestra's affiliated conductors to date include: Anderson Tyrer Michael Bowles Warwick Braithwaite James Robertson John Hopkins Juan Matteucci Franz-Paul Decker James Judd Pietari Inkinen Edo de Waart Hamish McKeich The NZSO has recorded several LPs and many CDs, several with internationally known soloists such as Alessandra Marc and Donald McIntyre. In the last decade it has sold 500,000 CDs.
It records at least one CD of New Zealand music each year. It has made a number of recordings on the American Koch label and now records with Naxos; the latest recordings are two CDs of music by Jean Sibelius and one CD of music by Einojuhani Rautavaara. In 2012, the NZSO collaborated with Booktrack and Salman Rushdie to create music for an enhanced edition of Rusdhie's short story In the South; the NZSO recorded part of Howard Shore's score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, notably the "Mines of Moria" sequence, as well as an alternate version of the cue "The Breaking of the Fellowship". The NZSO performed and recorded Howard Shore's score for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; the NZSO was nominated for Best Orchestral Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards which took place in Los Angeles in February 2016. A recording of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning Chinese composer Zhou Long and the Symphony ‘Humen 1839’, written in collaboration with compatriot Chen Yi, was in the running for the Award.
Singaporean Darrell Ang conducted the recording, recorded in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre in June 2013 and released on the Naxos label in May 2015. The Grammy Award went to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for its recording Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphony No. 10. The other nominees included the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and The Oregon Symphony, it was the first Grammy nomination for the NZSO. The NZSO National Youth Orchestra was founded by John Hopkins in 1959, it auditions afresh each year and, after an intensive rehearsal schedule, performs one programme, in 2007 to be repeated in Auckland and Christchurch. In 2005 the orchestra inaugurated its Composer-in-Residence scheme appointing Robin Toan as first recipient of the award. In 2006, Claire Cowan was Composer-in-Residence; the NYO celebrated its 50th Anniversary Celebratory Season in 2009, under the baton of Paul Daniel, with John Chen as soloist and Ben Morrison as Concertmaster. Their programme was Mahler's 7th Symphony, Ravel's Left-Hand piano concerto and an original composition by Natalie Hunt, Composer-in-Residence: Only to the Highest Mountain.
The 2009 season saw the return of John Hopkins to join in the celebrations. The New Zealand Chamber Orchestra was founde
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's national museum, located in Wellington. Known as Te Papa, or'Our Place', it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum and the National Art Gallery. More than 1.5 million people visit every year. Te Papa Tongarewa translates to'Container of Treasures'. A fuller interpretation is ‘our container of treasured things and people that spring from mother earth here in New Zealand’. Te Papa's philosophy emphasises the living face behind its cultural treasures, many of which retain deep ancestral links to the indigenous Māori people; the Museum recognises the partnership, created by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, te Tiriti o Waitangi, in 1840. The first predecessor of Te Papa was the Colonial Museum, founded in 1865, with James Hector as founding director, it was built on Museum Street. Halfway through the 1930s the museum moved to the new Dominion Museum building in Buckle Street, where the National Art Gallery of New Zealand was housed.
The National Art Gallery was opened in 1936 and occupied the first floor of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum building on Buckle Street, Wellington. It was populated with a collection donated by Academy of Fine Arts; the Gallery was formed with the passing of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Act in 1930. Both the Dominion Museum and Gallery were overseen by a single board of trustees; the official opening was by the Governor General in 1934. The early holding consisted of donations and bequests, including those from Harold Beauchamp, T. Lindsay Buick, Archdeacon Smythe, N. Chevalier, J. C. Richmond, William Swainson, Bishop Monrad, John Ilott and Rex Nan Kivell. Eru D. Gore was secretary-manager from 1936 till his death in 1948 when Stewart Bell Maclennan was appointed the first director; this was the first appointment in New Zealand of a full-time art gallery director. Past directors of the gallery include: Stewart Bell Maclennan Melvin Day Luit Bieringa Jenny Harper Te Papa was established in 1992 by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992.
Part of the remit for Te Papa was to explore the national identity of New Zealand. The official opening took place on 14 February 1998, in a ceremony led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, Sir Peter Blake, two children; the first chief executive of the Museum was Cheryll Sotheran. Māori traditional instrumentalist Richard Nunns co-led the musicians at a dawn ceremony on opening day; the museum is run by a board appointed by the Minister for Arts and Heritage. Board members have included: Wira Gardiner, Fiona Campbell, Sue Piper, Judith Tizard, John Judge, Miria Pomare, Michael Bassett, Christopher Parkin, Sandra Lee, Ngātata Love, Ronald Trotter, Glenys Coughlan, Judith Binney, Philip Carter, Wendy Lai; the museum had one million visitors in the first five months of operation, between 1 and 1.3 million visits have been made in each subsequent year. In 2004, more space was devoted to exhibiting works from the New Zealand art collection in a long-term exhibition called Toi Te Papa: Art of the Nation.
Filmmakers Gaylene Preston and Anna Cottrell documented the development of Te Papa in their film Getting to Our Place. The museum has sometimes been the center of controversy; the siting of significant collections at the water's edge on reclaimed land next to one of the world's most active faults has resulted in concern by some people. There has been criticism of the'sideshow' nature of some exhibits the Time Warp section, which has closed. There has been criticism that some exhibits were not given due reverence. For example, a major work by Colin McCahon was at one stage juxtaposed with a 1950s refrigerator in a New Zealand culture exhibition. New Zealand art commentator Hamish Keith has been a consistent critic of Te Papa at different times referring to it as a "theme park", the "cultural equivalent to a fast-food outlet" and "not a de facto national gallery", but seemed to moderate his opinion when making a case for exhibition space on the Auckland waterfront. Staff restructuring at Te Papa since 2012 has generated significant controversy.
In October 2018, Te Papa management promised to review restructuring plans, indicating that plans would be scaled back. In February 2019, the Collection Manager of Fishes Andrew Stewart and the Collection Manager of Molluscs Bruce Marshall were made redundant. Numerous museum experts and scientists in New Zealand and worldwide criticised the move, with some threatening a boycott. In March 2019, the redundancies were delayed. Te Papa advertised a research position for a molluscan curator, criticised by outside experts again. In April 2019, the Museum reversed the decision for Andrew Stewart; the main Te Papa building is on Cable Street. Inside the building are six floors of exhibitions, cafés and gift shops dedicated to New Zealand's culture and environment; the museum incorporates outdoor areas with artificial caves, native bushes and wetlands. A second building on Tory Street is a scientific research facility and storage area, is not open to the public. Te Papa was built by Fletcher Construction.
The 36,000-square-metre building had cost NZ$300 million by its opening in 1998. Earthquake strengthening of the Cable Street building was achieved through the New Zealand-developed technology of base isolation – seating the entire building on supports made from lead and rubber that slow down the effect of an earthquake; the site was occupied by a modern five-storey hotel. This was jacked off its foundations onto numerous rail bogies and transported 200 metres down and across the road to a n
Environmental resource management
Environmental resource management is the management of the interaction and impact of human societies on the environment. It is not, as the phrase might suggest, the management of the environment itself. Environmental resources management aims to ensure that ecosystem services are protected and maintained for future human generations, maintain ecosystem integrity through considering ethical and scientific variables. Environmental resource management tries to identify factors affected by conflicts that rise between meeting needs and protecting resources, it is thus linked to environmental protection and integrated landscape management. Environmental resource management is an issue of increasing concern, as reflected in its prevalence in seminal texts influencing global sociopolitical frameworks such as the Brundtland Commission's Our Common Future, which highlighted the integrated nature of environment and international development and the Worldwatch Institute's annual State of the World reports.
The environment determines the nature of people, animals and places around the Earth, affecting behaviour, religion and economic practices. Environmental resource management can be viewed from a variety of perspectives, it involves the management of all components of the biophysical environment, both living and non-living, the relationships among all living species and their habitats. The environment involves the relationships of the human environment, such as the social and economic environment, with the biophysical environment; the essential aspects of environmental resource management are ethical, economical and technological. These underlie principles and help make decisions; the concept of environmental determinism and possibilism are significant in the concept of environmental resource management. Environmental resource management covers many areas in science, including geography, social sciences, political sciences, public policy, physics, sociology and physiology. Environmental resource management strategies are intrinsically driven by conceptions of human-nature relationships.
Ethical aspects involve the cultural and social issues relating to the environment, dealing with changes to it. "All human activities take place in the context of certain types of relationships between society and the bio-physical world," and so, there is a great significance in understanding the ethical values of different groups around the world. Broadly speaking, two schools of thought exist in environmental ethics: Anthropocentrism and Ecocentrism, each influencing a broad spectrum of environmental resource management styles along a continuum; these styles perceive "...different evidence and problems, prescribe different solutions, technologies, roles for economic sectors, culture and ethics, etc." Anthropocentrism, "...an inclination to evaluate reality in terms of human values," is an ethic reflected in the major interpretations of Western religions and the dominant economic paradigms of the industrialised world. Anthropocentrism looks at nature as existing for the benefit of humans, as a commodity to use for the good of humanity and to improve human quality of life.
Anthropocentric environmental resource management is therefore not the conservation of the environment for the environment's sake, but rather the conservation of the environment, ecosystem structure, for humans' sake. Ecocentrists believe in the intrinsic value of nature while maintaining that human beings must use and exploit nature to survive and live, it is this fine ethical line that ecocentrists navigate between fair abuse. At an extreme of the ethical scale, ecocentrism includes philosophies such as ecofeminism and deep ecology, which evolved as a reaction to dominant anthropocentric paradigms. "In its current form, it is an attempt to synthesize many old and some new philosophical attitudes about the relationship between nature and human activity, with particular emphasis on ethical and spiritual aspects that have been downplayed in the dominant economic worldview." The economy functions within, is dependent upon goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. The role of the environment is recognized in both classical economics and neoclassical economics theories, yet the environment was a lower priority in economic policies from 1950 to 1980 due to emphasis from policy makers on economic growth.
With the prevalence of environmental problems, many economists embraced the notion that, "If environmental sustainability must coexist for economic sustainability the overall system must identification of an equilibrium between the environment and the economy." As such, economic policy makers began to incorporate the functions of the natural environment—or natural capital — as a sink for wastes and for the provision of raw materials and amenities. Debate continues among economists as to how to account for natural capital whether resources can be replaced through knowledge and technology, or whether the environment is a closed system that cannot be replenished and is finite. Economic models influence environmental resource management, in that management policies reflect beliefs about natural capital scarcity. For someone who believes natural capital is infinite and substituted, environmental management is irrelevant to the economy. For example, economic paradigms based on neoclassical models of closed economic systems are concerned with resource scarcity, thus prescribe legalizing the environment as an economic externality for an environmental resource management strategy.
This approach has o
An invasive species is a species, not native to a specific location, that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health. The criteria for invasive species has been controversial, as divergent perceptions exist among researchers as well as concerns with the subjectivity of the term "invasive". Several alternate usages of the term have been proposed; the term as most used applies to introduced species that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically, environmentally, or ecologically. Such invasive species may be either plants or animals and may disrupt by dominating a region, wilderness areas, particular habitats, or wildland–urban interface land from loss of natural controls; this includes non-native invasive plant species labeled as exotic pest plants and invasive exotics growing in native plant communities. It has been used in this sense by government organizations as well as conservation groups such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the California Native Plant Society.
The European Union defines "Invasive Alien Species" as those that are, outside their natural distribution area, secondly, threaten biological diversity. The term is used by land managers, researchers, horticulturalists and the public for noxious weeds; the kudzu vine, Andean pampas grass, yellow starthistle are examples. An alternate usage broadens the term to include indigenous or "native" species along with non-native species, that have colonized natural areas. Deer are an example, considered to be overpopulating their native zones and adjacent suburban gardens, by some in the Northeastern and Pacific Coast regions of the United States. Sometimes the term is used to describe a non-native or introduced species that has become widespread. However, not every introduced. A nonadverse example is the common goldfish, found throughout the United States, but achieves high densities. Notable examples of invasive species include European rabbits, grey squirrels, domestic cats and ferrets. Dispersal and subsequent proliferation of species is not an anthropogenic phenomenon.
There are many mechanisms by which species from all Kingdoms have been able to travel across continents in short periods of time such as via floating rafts, or on wind currents. Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, performed many experiments to better understand long distance seed dispersal, was able to germinate seeds from insect frass, faeces of waterfowl, dirt clods on the feet of birds, all of which may have traveled significant distances under their own power, or be blown off course by thousands of miles. Invasion of long-established ecosystems by organisms from distant bio-regions is a natural phenomenon, accelerated via hominid-assisted migration although this has not been adequately directly measured; the definition of "native" is controversial in that there is no way to determine nativity. For example, the ancestors of Equus ferus evolved in North America and radiated to Eurasia before becoming locally extinct. Upon returning to North America in 1493 during their hominid-assisted migration, it is debatable as to whether they were native or exotic to the continent of their evolutionary ancestors.
Scientists include species and ecosystem factors among the mechanisms that, when combined, establish invasiveness in a newly introduced species. While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. In some cases, the competition is about rates of reproduction. In other cases, species interact with each other more directly. Researchers disagree about the usefulness of traits as invasiveness markers. One study found that of a list of invasive and noninvasive species, 86% of the invasive species could be identified from the traits alone. Another study found invasive species tended to have only a small subset of the presumed traits and that many similar traits were found in noninvasive species, requiring other explanations. Common invasive species traits include the following: Fast growth Rapid reproduction High dispersal ability Phenotype plasticity Tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions Ability to live off of a wide range of food types Association with humans Prior successful invasionsTypically, an introduced species must survive at low population densities before it becomes invasive in a new location.
At low population densities, it can be difficult for the introduced species to reproduce and maintain itself in a new location, so a species might reach a location multiple times before it becomes established. Repeated patterns of human movement, such as ships sailing to and from ports or cars driving up and down highways offer repeated opportunities for establishment. An introduced species might become invasive if it can outcompete native species for resources such as nutrients, physical space, water, or food. If these species evolved under great competition or predation the new environment may host fewer able competitors, allowing the invader to proliferate quickly. Ecosystems which are being used to their fullest capacity by native species can be modeled as zero-sum systems in which any gain for the invader is a loss for the native. However, su
Heritage New Zealand
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga is a Crown entity with a membership of around 20,000 people that advocates for the protection of ancestral sites and heritage buildings in New Zealand. It was set up through the Historic Places Act 1954 with a mission to "...promote the identification, protection and conservation of the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand" and is an autonomous Crown entity. Its current enabling legislation is the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014, it is governed by a Board of Trustees chaired by Shonagh Kenderdine, a Māori Heritage Council chaired by Sir Tumu Te Heuheu. Past chairs include Dame Anne Salmond; the head office is in Antrim House, while regional and area offices are in Kerikeri, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin. It publishes the quarterly magazine New Zealand Heritage. Buildings owned by Heritage New Zealand include the Mission House, the Stone Store, the Te Waimate mission house; the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero is divided into four main areas: Historic Places Historic Areas Wahi Tapu Wahi Tapu AreasThe historic places are organised in two categories: Category I - "...places of'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'" Category II - "...places of'historical or cultural heritage significance or value'"As of 2013, the register contains over 5,600 entries.
The Canterbury earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 resulted in damage to a number of historic buildings in Christchurch. Post-earthquake redevelopment has caused a significant loss of heritage buildings in Christchurch; the Māori Heritage Council sits within the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and was established by the Historic Places Act 1993. The functions of the Council include: the protection and registration of wahi tapu and wahi tapu areas assisting the Trust to develop and reflect a bicultural view in the exercise of its powers and functions providing assistance to whanau and iwi in the preservation and management of their heritage resources consideration of recommendations in relation to archaeological sites advocacy of the interests of the Trust and Council so far as they relate to Māori heritage at any public or Māori forum; as of 2013 Sir Tumu Te Heuheu is the Chair of the MHC. France - Monument historique Germany - Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz and National Heritage Sites Hong Kong - Historic building, see List of Grade I historic buildings in Hong Kong, List of Grade II historic buildings in Hong Kong and List of Grade III historic buildings in Hong Kong Netherlands - Rijksmonument United Kingdom - Listed building or Scheduled Ancient Monument United States - National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark SAHANZ Category:New Zealand Historic Places Trust Heritage New Zealand
Genetically modified organism
A genetically modified organism is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The exact definition of a genetically modified organism and what constitutes genetic engineering varies, with the most common being an organism altered in a way that "does not occur by mating and/or natural recombination". A wide variety of organisms have been genetically modified, from animals to plants and microorganisms. Genes have been transferred within the same species, across species and across kingdoms. New genes can be introduced. Creating a genetically modified organism is a multi-step process. Genetic engineers must isolate the gene they wish to insert into the host organism and combine it with other genetic elements, including a promoter and terminator region and a selectable marker. A number of techniques are available for inserting the isolated gene into the host genome. Recent advancements using genome editing techniques, notably CRISPR, have made the production of GMO's much simpler.
Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen made the first genetically modified organism in 1973, a bacteria resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. The first genetically modified animal, a mouse, was created in 1974 by Rudolf Jaenisch, the first plant was produced in 1983. In 1994 the Flavr Savr tomato was released, the first commercialized genetically modified food; the first genetically modified animal to be commercialized was the GloFish and the first genetically modified animal to be approved for food use was the AquAdvantage salmon in 2015. Bacteria are the easiest organisms to engineer and have been used for research, food production, industrial protein purification and art. There is potential to use them for purposes or as medicine. Fungi have been engineered with much the same goals. Viruses play an important role as vectors for inserting genetic information into other organisms; this use is relevant to human gene therapy. There are proposals to remove the virulent genes from viruses to create vaccines.
Plants have been engineered for scientific research, to create new colors in plants, deliver vaccines and to create enhanced crops. Genetically modified crops are publicly the most controversial GMOs; the majority are engineered for insect resistance. Golden rice has been engineered with three genes. Other prospects for GM crops are as bioreactors for the production of biopharmaceuticals, biofuels or medicines. Animals are much harder to transform and the vast majority are still at the research stage. Mammals are the best model organisms for humans, making ones genetically engineered to resemble serious human diseases important to the discovery and development of treatments. Human proteins expressed in mammals are more to be similar to their natural counterparts than those expressed in plants or microorganisms. Livestock are modified with the intention of improving economically important traits such as growth-rate, quality of meat, milk composition, disease resistance and survival. Genetically modified fish are used as pets and as a food source.
Genetic engineering has been proposed as a way to control mosquitos, a vector for many deadly diseases. Although human gene therapy is still new, it has been used to treat genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Leber's congenital amaurosis. Many objections have been raised over the development of GMO's their commercialization. Many of these involve GM crops and whether food produced from them is safe and what impact growing them will have on the environment. Other concerns are the objectivity and rigor of regulatory authorities, contamination of non-genetically modified food, control of the food supply, patenting of life and the use of intellectual property rights. Although there is a scientific consensus that available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, GM food safety is a leading issue with critics. Gene flow, impact on non-target organisms and escape are the major environmental concerns. Countries have adopted regulatory measures to deal with these concerns.
There are differences in the regulation for the release of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the US and Europe. One of the key issues concerning regulators is whether GM food should be labeled and the status of gene edited organisms. What constitutes a genetically modified organism is not always clear and can vary widely. At its broadest it can include anything. Taking a less broad view it can encompass every organism that has had its genes altered by humans, which would include all crops and livestock. In 1993 the Encyclopedia Britannica defined genetic engineering as "any of a wide range of techniques... among them artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, sperm banks and gene manipulation." The European Union included a broad definition in early reviews mentioning GMOs being produced by "selective breeding and other means of artificial selection." They excluded traditional breeding, in vitro fertilization, induction of polyploidy and cell fusion techniques that do not use recombinant nucleic acids or a genetically modified organism in the process.
A narrower definition provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the European Commission says that the organisms must be altered in a way that does "not occur by mating and/or natur