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Al-Fayed to help farmers sue Advanta

1 June 2000
Al-Fayed to help farmers sue Advanta

by FWi staff

FLAMBOYANT Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed has offered to help pay the legal costs of farmers who unwittingly planted genetically modified crops.

Mr al-Fayed made the gesture after it emerged that (22 hectares) 55 acres of GM contaminated oilseed rape seed had been planted on his Scottish estate.

Jim Walker, president of the Scottish National Farmers Union, said Mr al-Fayed had offered to contribute towards the unions costs for any court action.

Mr al-Fayed said he was prepared to meet officials to discuss support for other aspects of the unions campaign for compensation, reported the BBC.

Mr Walker said: “Mr al-Fayed has offered any help in the future that we may require, including financial help, if we have to take a court case out against a third party for this whole debacle.”

The GM-contaminated oilseed rape is still growing on the Balnagowan estate but it is expected to be ploughed in over the next few days.

Up to 600 other British farmers unwittingly planted the oilseed rape from contaminated seed supplied by Lincolnshire-based Advanta Seeds UK.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that GM crops on trial in Britain are to be tested for “rogue” genetic material.

This follows an admission by biotechnology company Monsanto that some of its genetically modified products contain unexpected gene fragments.

Inactive material was inserted into soya at the same time as a gene which ensures the seed is not killed by weedkiller.

The Mail says Monsanto has trialled sugar beet in Britain which contains the same gene. Anti-GM campaigners say this proves GM science is flawed.

Monsanto and the British government insist the soya beans are no more risky to human health than conventional varieties.

  • Daily Mail 01/06/2000 page 13
    • Read more on:
    • News

    Al-Fayed to help farmers sue Advanta

    1 June 2000
    Al-Fayed to help farmers sue Advanta

    by FWi staff

    FLAMBOYANT Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed has offered to help pay the legal costs of farmers who unwittingly planted genetically modified crops.

    Mr al-Fayed made the gesture after it emerged that (22 hectares) 55 acres of contaminated GM oilseed rape seed had been planted on his Scottish estate.

    Scottish National Farmers Union president Jim Walker confirmed to the BBC that Mr Al Fayed had offered to help.

    Mr Walker said the Harrods boss had offered to contribute towards the unions legal costs for any court action for compensation.

    Mr Al Fayed also said he was prepared to meet officials to discuss support for other aspects of the unions campaign

    Mr Walker said: “Mr Al-Fayed has offered any help in the future that we may require, including financial help, if we have to take a court case out against a third party for this whole debacle.”

    The GM the oilseed rape is still growing on the Balnagowan estate but was expected to be ploughed in.

    Up to 600 British farmers unwittingly planted GM oilseed rape after seed supplier Advanta mixed conventional with GM varieties.

    Mr Walker has accused farm minister Nick Brown of dithering and incompetence over he issue.

    Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that GM crops on trial in Britain are to be tested for “rogue” genetic material.

    This follows an admission by biotechnology company Monsanto that some of its genetically modified products contain unexpected gene fragments.

    Inactive material was inserted into soya at the same time as a gene which ensures the seed is not killed by weedkiller.

    The Mail says Monsanto has trialled sugar beet in Britain which contains the same gene.

    Monsanto and the British government insist the soya beans are no more risky to human health than conventional varieties.

    Anti-GM campaigners say this proves GM science is flawed.

  • Daily Mail 01/06/2000 page 13
    • Read more on:
    • News
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