The New Zealand government announced a two-year ban on commercial releases of genetically modified organisms.
However, it will allow medical and laboratory experiments and reopens field trials after a two-year voluntary ban.
The decision means 10 field trials of genetically modified plants might go ahead. They include potatoes, sugarbeets, peas, pine trees, petunias, and maize.
The government said the banning of commercial release of GM products will give it time to research socio-economic, ethical, and environmental concerns.
Some scientists could take research overseas because getting a field trial approved through a public consultation process costing NZ$40,000 to $50,000 would be too expensive and time consuming.