5 July 2000
Advanta announces GM payout

By FWi staff

ADVANTA Seeds is to pay about 1.7 million in compensation to farmers who unwittingly drilled crops contaminated with genetically modified seed.

About 4700ha (11,600 acres) of oilseed rape were sown this spring by up to 600 producers after Advanta supplied farmers with GM-contaminated seed.

Farmers who grew the crop south of a line between Newcastle and Carlisle will receive 337/ha (136/acre), the company announced on Wednesday (5 July).

Producers north of the line will receive a higher rate of 370/ha, said a statement. The payments are meant to cover current known losses.

The offer takes into account the likely higher output potential for spring oilseed rape in Northern England and Scotland, said the company statement.

Advanta officials refused to confirm the total payout. But assuming 60% of the crop was grown in Scotland, it works out at about 1.68m.

Money will be paid in addition to support payments for the crop, which Brussels has agreed can still be paid even if producers destroy the plants.

Advanta said it acknowledged no liability, but had “taken this step in the interest of its merchants and their farmers customers”.

It has sent a letter to all registered growers of the crop advising them of the steps which should be taken to obtain the compensation package.