17 May 1999
Farmers’ reluctance puts
gene crop trials under threat

By FWi staff

THE Governments farm-scale trials of genetically modified (GM) crops could fall under threat from a lack of farmers willing to participate, if has been claimed.

Data from the experiments may prove inadequate unless enough farmers take part, believes Professor Mike Roberts of the Natural Environment Research Council.

He believes that the trials designed to assess the environmental effects of GM crops, could be jeopardised if too few producers allow the crops to be grown on their farms.

Prof Roberts will make the claim in a Panorama documentary to be shown tonight.

The programme, which will be shown at 10.05pm on BBC1, examines the Governments reassurances over the use of biotechnology in agriculture.

Ministers have pledged that GM crops will be commercially grown only if there are no ill effects on human health or the environment from doing so.