THE TWO remaining applications to place Genetically Modified seed varieties on the UK National List have been withdrawn by Bayer CropScience (Nov 9).

Delays getting approval through the European framework for the two oilseed rape varieties meant they were likely to be outdated by the time approval was granted, said Bayer‘s Julian Little.

Removing the application while negotiations with the EU continue was nothing more than a “housekeeping” exercise, he said.

But the decision was welcomed by the Five Year Freeze – an alliance of 120 organisations concerned about the implications of GM technology being introduced.

“This is great news for farmers, consumers and the environment although not entirely unexpected,” said Pete Riley, director of the Five Year Freeze.

He believed the government should put together a “coherent strategy” and develop an economic climate that allows farmers to make sustainable farming profitable – without resorting to GM crops.