04 August 1999
Church bans GM crop trials

THE Church of England has refused to allow the government to use its land to conduct genetically modified (GM) crop trials.

It has turned down a request by the Central Science Laboratory, the main research arm of the ministry of agriculture to lease land to carry out trials.

The Independent reports that church commissioners blocked the application pending a full-scale inquiry into genetic modification and its “theological implications”.

The church owns more than 49,778ha (123,000 acres) of agricultural land in Britain.

The laboratory made the approach because the commissioners own the land surrounding its site at York.