CARWYN JONES, the Welsh countryside and environment minister, has told EU Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel about Welsh GM concerns.

Mr Jones met Mrs Fischer Boel on Thursday (April 7) at a meeting organised by the European Regions Network on Co-existence in Agriculture.

The meeting addressed European-wide concerns about the potential impact of unrestricted commercialisation of GM crops on conventional and organic farming.

Mr Jones led the presentations, outlining Wales‘s determination to protect its farming industry and environment from possible contamination as a result of growing GM crops.

“The Welsh Assembly Government has invested significantly in the development of sustainable forms of agriculture and marketing green, environmentally-friendly, produce, in particular our lamb and cheese.”

“I am naturally concerned that the commercialisation of GM crops in the UK could undermine Wales‘s current achievements and ambitions for our agriculture and food industries,” Mr Jones said.

He added that it is “imperative” to bring in a co-existence regime for GM crops which, “whilst providing consumers and farmers with choice, nonetheless commands their confidence in terms of consistency, robustness and redress mechanisms”.

In response, Mrs Fischer Boel said that the decision to use GM crops or not should be left to farmer, but she acknowledged the necessity for co-existence rules and for these to be developed at member state level.