8 December 2000
Discuss GM rules, breeders urged

By FWi staff

PLANT breeders must work with the government to explain rigorous GM crop regulations, according to junior agriculture minister Baroness Hayman.

Further action is needed to prevent a repeat of problems like the GM contaminated Hyola spring rapeseed earlier this year, she added.

The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) should not to breathe a sigh of relief that problem had passed, the Baroness told its annual lunch in London.

With further problems likely next year action is needed now.

“We do need to do more to get the context of science and regulatory work out into the open before the next crisis.”

The Baroness said the government is planning a major exhibition to explain GM crop regulations to the public.

“If nothing has come out showing harm then people ask if the process is wrong. So we need to start explaining that the process is robust.”

She also urged the industry to talk more, rather than staying quiet while trying to resolve problems.

“Being seen to be secretive is worse than being seen to have gaps in knowledge.”