6 April 2000
Church advisors back GM ban

ETHICAL advisors to the Church of England have recommended a ban on the genetically modified crops on its land.

The Church of England Ethical Advisory Group suggested that any possible ecological risks and the morality of the trials have not been considered.

It will be a blow to the government and biotech industry that the Church, which owns 51,800ha (128,000 acres) of farmland, is rejecting the trials.

The countrys biggest farmer, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, has already pulled out of the trials reports the Daily Mail.

The newspaper says the Church of Englands General Synod is almost certain to follow its advisory groups recommendations.

Meanwhile, the US National Academy of Sciences has called for stringent checks on GM crops, but concludes there is no evidence they threaten health.

Critics of the report say its credibility is undermined because most of the 12 panel members have links with the biotechnology industries, reports The Guardian.