Genetically modified oilseed rape plants and seed are set to be destroyed after the discovery of the unauthorised seed which was imported from France.

Defra’s GM Inspectorate (GMI) confirmed the unintended presence of GM seed in a batch of imported conventional oilseed rape seed, which was sown in small plots at several sites in England and Scotland.

The GMI was informed by a seed company after test results on a batch of the imported seed indicated a possible GM presence, and the company has agreed to destroy all the plants.

Seed from the same batch that has not been planted is being recalled.

See also: GM crops scheme rejected by Environment Committee of European Parliament

Defra said in a statement that there is no risk to adjacent crops or the wider environment as plants that have been grown from the affected seed would not flower until next spring.

The seed was being used mostly as part of conventional trials for the official registration of new plant varieties.