THE GOVERNMENT will publish a written package this autumn for the second phase of its consultation on a planting regime for GM crops in the UK.

The consultation documents will be based on the Government‘s conclusions from a series of workshops it is currently undertaking with stakeholders.

One of the issues being explored with stakeholders is the possibility of a GM threshold below the EU limit of 0.9% for organic production.

But in its response to a report from the environment, food and rural affairs select committee, the Government pointed out that legislative requirements for coexistence measures that aim to achieve zero GM presence in non-GM crops, including organic, would be contrary to EU legislation.

Yet it stated that if there are indications that the European Commission is actively considering setting a specific threshold within the EU‘s organic regulations, it will “contribute to these developments”.

Friends of the Earth said the Government‘s report was the clearest indication yet that it is preparing to allow widespread GM contamination of non-GM crops and food – including organics.

FoE GM campaigner Clare Oxborrow said: “Once again the Government has ignored the democratic process in its desperation to push GM crops onto the British public.

“Serious concerns raised by the public, local authorities and now a select committee of MPs have simply been ignored.”

“The Government should think again before allowing widespread GM contamination of our crops and food, and instead do all it can to protect our food, farming and environment,” Ms Oxborrow said.