09:05 Calls for change to laws on gene editing

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Photo: Royal Society Te Apārangi

Should our 16-year-old laws governing biotechnology be overhauled to loosen regulations around gene editing and genetic modification? The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, which tightly controls the use of GE and GM organisms, has not been substantially updated since the 2001 Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. The Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor Dr Juliet Gerrard says our current law is not fit for purpose.  She's backed by the Royal Society, which has just issued a discussion document calling for urgent discussion and debate.  Meanwhile reforms in Australia have effectively deregulated gene editing in animals, plants, and human cell lines that don't introduce new genetic material. Kathryn talks with Dr Juliet Gerrard, Senior lecturer at the Bioethics Centre at the University of Otago, Dr Mike King and AgResearch Senior Scientist Dr Bjorn Oback, who's leading a $10 million study, attempting to create dairy cows that produce more milk, create fewer emissions and have greater heat tolerance. The PM's Chief Science Advisor's paper and the Royal Society's paper.

09.20 TikTok: how proactive it is re children's safety?

Cyber safety experts are warning the world's most popular iPhone app TikTok compromises children's safety and privacy, raising concerns about predatory behaviour, bullying and exposure to age-inappropriate content.  TikTok is taking hold here - it's New Zealand's 11th most downloaded app - and has more than 500 million active users world wide. Courts in Indonesia and India have moved to ban it, and a fine has been imposed by a US court for illegally collecting personal information of children age under 13. Australian cyber-safety expert Susan Mclean tells Kathryn Ryan it would be easy for creators to be more proactive in making it safer for children to use, if only they wanted to.

09:45 US troops relocated from northern Syria and protests in Lebanon 

Middle East correspondent, Sebastian Usher joins Kathryn to look at the situation in northern Syria, where US troops are being pulled out and redeployed to Iraq. Is it a sign of the loss of US influence in the region, or a brilliant strategy as Donald Trump has described it? He'll also talk about the protests in Lebanon and a move by the UAE to abolish the hyper-restrictive migrant worker system.

Thousands of Lebanese demonstrators wave their country's flag during a mass protest in Beirut demanding the fall of the government.

Thousands of Lebanese demonstrators wave their country's flag during a mass protest in Beirut demanding the fall of the government. Photo: AFP

10:05 Adaptive rock climber Craig deMartino

Craig deMartino was a professional rock climber who nearly lost his life in an accident 17 years ago, when he was dropped 30 metres from a rock ledge - breaking almost every bone in his body.  18 months later, he decided to amputate his right leg below the knee in order to be able to return to climbing. Craig has notched up a number of records - including becoming the first amputee ascent of Yosemite's El Capitan in under 24 hours. But his focus now is very much on inspiring others with physical disabilities to get active again and to live with their trauma in a different way. He's written a book about his journey called After the Fall, and is the subject of a recent short film called Craig's Reaction.

10:35 Book review - The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez

Author Sigrid Nunez

Author Sigrid Nunez Photo: Hachette Australia

Jenna Todd of Time Out Bookstore reviews The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez, published by Little, Brown Book Group.

10:45 The Reading

The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke by Tina Makereti read by Mitch Thomas. Episode 8 of 12.

11:05 Political commentators Morten and Williams

Brigitte and Mike join Kathryn to discuss the New Zealand First conference over the weekend, how the coalition dynamics are working, the most recent political polls and whether there's further headwinds ahead for Labour delivering on big election policies.

Mike Williams is a former Labour Party president and Brigitte Morten is a senior consultant with public and commercial law firm Franks & Ogilvie and a former senior ministerial advisor for the previous National-led government.

Party leader Winston Peters didn't announce a new policy, despite saying he would be doing so.

Party leader Winston Peters didn't announce a new policy, despite saying he would be doing so. Photo: RNZ / Jo Moir

11:30 Spring into summer: soil thermometers at the ready!

Otaki-based organic gardener, Kath Irvine  has been growing all the vegetables to feed her family of 6 for a couple of decades now.   She joins Kathryn Ryan for advice to prepare for when the season changes. She suggests sowing beans now and as nature is calibrated to temperature she recommends you garden with a bit less gamble and use a soil thermometer. Kath also has a recipe for refried beans.

11:45 The legality of shark cage diving. Kennedy Warne

White shark wrangling at Gansbaai, South Africa, 2001

White shark wrangling at Gansbaai, South Africa, 2001 Photo: Kennedy Warne

Outdoorsman Kennedy Warne discusses the Supreme Court's recent decision on the legality of shark cage diving at Rakiura/Stewart Island, learns a surprising use for gourds and has advice on how to tell the difference between a weasel and a stoat.

Music played in this show

Artist: The Handsome Family
Track: Far From Any Road
Time played: 10.40