UP TO 800,000 is to be spent by NIAB over the next four years in part EU-funded research into the viability of growing GM crops alongside conventional ones.

With 51 partners throughout Europe, the CO-EXTRA programme will examine the steps needed for both types to co-exist, keeping their produce separate, and crop rotation systems.

NIAB”s main role will be to draw up a checklist to help everyone in the industry to make sound decisions on whether to become involved in future GM crop production, says project member Lydia Smith.

With partner Lumora – a Cambridge University offshoot company – it also aims to develop a quick and easy method to detect GM crops in the field.