AgrEvo defies GM challenge - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £133
Saving £46
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

AgrEvo defies GM challenge

10 September 1999
AgrEvo defies GM challenge

THE biotech company AgrEvo is to press ahead with its farm-scale trials of genetically modified (GM) crops despite a legal challenge from environmentalists.…more…

Todays news



Minister of Agriculture Nick Brown will speak at the Crops Conference, 23 November at Linton, Cambridgeshire

CLICK HERE to send your questions to the minister

Euro1 = £0.6536
£1 = Euro1.5299 / DM2.992 / FF10.036/ $1.620 
Farmers Weekly 4x4 and Country Car Show
ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
Click the logos

      

    Read more on:
  • News

AgrEvo defies GM challenge

10 September 1999
AgrEvo defies GM challenge

By Johann Tasker

THE biotech company AgrEvo is to press ahead with its farm-scale trials of genetically modified (GM) crops despite a legal challenge from environmentalists.

A court action to stop the government allowing AgrEvo to expand the GM trials was launched last month by the pressure group Friends of the Earth.

But three of AgrEvos four GM oilseed rape trial sites due to be started this autumn have now been planted, according to a progress report from the company.

FoE had accused the government of bending the rules to allow AgrEvo to increase the area of GM crop trials in time for planting this autumn.

It also claimed that government officials allowed AgrEvo to change the GM crop being tested without submitting a new application.

The application to extend the trials was not properly presented to the governments Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE), said FoE.

The High Court has since granted FoE permission to bring a judicial review of the Governments decision to give the go-ahead for the expansion of the trials.

It appears, however, that AgrEvo decided time was running out and planted the crops anyway for fear that any future commercialisation may have been delayed.

Had the crop trials not been established soon, the onset of winter would have delayed planting and hence the experiment for at least a year.

The company claims that the farmers taking part in the trials are keen to ensure the tests continue so the effects of GM crops can be assessed.

But it confirmed that Nottinghamshire farmer David Rose had decided against planting a 10-hectare GM trial for AgrEvo after a meeting with FoE campaigners.

AgrEvo claimed Mr Rose had decided against the proposal because the only suitable field available within his rotation is at the very boundary of his farm.

The threat of cross-pollination between GM crops grown at the edge of farms and neighbouring organic varieties is one of the issues at the forefront of the GM debate.

Organic farmers have been told their licences could be revoked if GM crops cross-pollinate with GM-free varieties, costing them thousands of pounds in lost income.

AgrEvo claimed that Mr Rose would instead be growing a much smaller demonstration plot to show his neighbours the effects of GM crops.

But the company refused to comment further, saying that it had nothing more to add to a statement released on Friday (10 September).

Charles Secrett, FoE executive director, denounced the move to expand the GM trials which, he said, went against public opinion.

We are bitterly disappointed with this decision, he said.

There may be no legal barrier to prevent planting, but AgrEvo has decided to go ahead despite the High Courts view that these trials are arguably unlawful.

AgrEvo will announce a new trial to replace Mr Roses abandoned site in Lincolnshire tomorrow, bringing the number of farm-scale trials back up to four.

    Read more on:
  • News

AgrEvo defies GM challenge

10 September 1999
AgrEvo defies GM challenge

By Johann Tasker

THE biotech company AgrEvo is to press ahead with its farm-scale trials of genetically modified crops (GM) despite a legal challenge from environmentalists.

A court action to stop the government allowing AgrEvo to expand the GM trials was launched last month by the pressure group Friends of the Earth.

But three of AgrEvos four GM oilseed rape trial sites due to be started this autumn have now been planted, according to a progress report from the company.

FoE had accused the government of bending the rules to allow AgrEvo to increase the area of GM crop trials in time for planting this autumn.

It also claimed that government officials allowed AgrEvo to change the GM crop being tested without submitting a new application.

The application to extend the trials was not properly presented to the governments Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE), said FoE.

The High Court has since granted FoE permission to bring a judicial review of the Governments decision to give the go-ahead for the expansion of the trials.

It appears, however, that AgrEvo decided time was running out and planted the crops anyway for fear that any future commercialisation may have been delayed.

Had the crop trials not been established soon, the onset of winter would have delayed planting and hence the experiment for at least a year.

The company claims that the farmers taking part in the trials are keen to ensure the tests continue so the effects of GM crops can be assessed.

But it confirmed that Nottinghamshire farmer David Rose had decided against planting a 10-hectare GM trial for AgrEvo after a meeting with FoE campaigners.

AgrEvo claimed Mr Rose had decided against the proposal because the only suitable field available within his rotation is at the very boundary of his farm.

The threat of cross-pollination between GM crops grown at the edge of farms and neighbouring organic varieties is one of the issues at the forefront of the GM debate.

Organic farmers have been told their licences could be revoked if GM crops cross-pollinate with GM-free varieties, costing them thousands of pounds in lost income.

AgrEvo claimed that Mr Rose would instead be growing a much smaller demonstration plot to show his neighbours the effects of GM crops.

But the company refused to comment further, saying that it had nothing more to add to a statement released on Friday (10 September).

Charles Secrett, FoE executive director, denounced the move to expand the GM trials which, he said, went against public opinion.

We are bitterly disappointed with this decision, he said.

There may be no legal barrier to prevent planting, but AgrEvo has decided to go ahead despite the High Courts view that these trials are arguably unlawful.

AgrEvo will announce a new trial to replace Mr Roses abandoned site in Lincolnshire tomorrow, bringing the number of farm-scale trials back up to four.

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus