14 December 2000
Brussels plans GM land register

By FWi staff

THE European Commission is considering proposals which would force countries to register land used to grow genetically modified crops.

Promoted by concerns that GM crops may affect land values, the European Parliament to put forward an amendment to an EU directive on GM crops.

It would see registers set up to record the location of each GM crop.

The European parliament has also requested that the locations should “be made known to the public” in a manner to be determined by member states.

The London-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has been campaigning for a register for the past two years.

Julian Sayers, a RICS spokesman said it was essential to establish a “right to know” where GM crops have been planted as land values may be affected.

“The public deserves to be able to make well informed choices and this new register will assist farmers and consumers throughout Europe.”

Mr Sayers he suggested that the type of crop, nature of modification and date of sowing should also be recorded.

A RICS survey last year found that 64% of rural land managers believe that land that used to grow genetically modified crops will be more difficult to sell.