Biotech firms want test sites kept secret - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £129
Saving £36
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

Biotech firms want test sites kept secret

22 June 1998
Biotech firms want test sites kept secret

BIOTECH firms growing genetically modified (GM) crops in the UK want the Government to kept their test sites secret.

    Read more on:
  • News

Biotech firms want test sites kept secret

22 June 1998
Biotech firms want test sites kept secret

BIOTECH firms growing genetically modified (GM) crops in the UK want the Government to kept their test sites secret.

Their plea follows a spate of attacks on the trial sites by eco-terrorists.

Over the past few months, militant opponents of the new technology have damaged plants at a score of sites in England and Scotland.

The activists can easily find the sites because the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions is required by European law to keep a public register of crop test sites.

There are 64 licensed trials of GM crops in progress at more than 330 sites, mainly involving oilseed rape and sugar beet, but also new varieties of wheat, maize, barley, potatoes and chicory.

AgrEvo, a German biotechnology company based near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, has 40 trial plots growing GM oilseed, rape, sugar beet, maize and potatoes.

Des DSouza, a company product manager, said: “The protesters are destroying valuable scientific data which would help to answer many of the questions they themselves properly raise.

“The tests have been conducted with complete openness up to now, but we are discussing with the Government why the public needs to know the exact location of sites.”

Opponents of the new technology, such as AgrEvos modified rape, say not enough is known about its long-term effects, claiming that the herbicide-resistant gene, transferred to oilseed rape from a soil bacterium, could “escape” into other crops, creating uncontrollable superweeds.

  • The Times 22/06/98 page 10

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus