NATIONAL INSTITUTE of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) has been chosen to take part in a European study looking at the viability of growing genetically modified crops alongside conventional ones.

The contract is worth more than £400,000 over four years and together with 51 partners across Europe, will form part of the largest GM research project in Europe, NIAB said.

“We will be in discussion with every sector of the agricultural industry to ensure everyone is aware of both the benefits and the problems involved with growing GM crops,” said project team member, Lydia Smith.

“This is a massive task, but one that must be undertaken if Europe is to have an informed debate on this subject.”

Under the project, NIAB has outlined three key areas to focus on:

  • Steps needed for successful co-existence of GM and non-GM crops
  • Keeping GM and non-GM produce separate
  • Crop rotation systems

NIAB is also involved with another project to develop a new in-field test for the presence of GM crops.