26 November 1999

Farmers sought for trials of GM maize

INDIVIDUAL farmers are being targeted to see if they are prepared to take part in the farm-scale trials of genetically modified forage maize.

SCIMAC, the cross-industry body set up to introduce GM crops into commercial production, is writing to farmers it believes will be prepared to get involved, inviting them to volunteer for next years trial.

"If you are interested in supporting a national programme of research to evaluate the potential benefits of GM crop technology in forage maize, then SCIMAC would like to hear from you," says the letter.

"SCIMAC is keen to ensure that the range in farm practice and geographical spread of the sites is truly representative of the UK maize growing areas and wish to offer a pool of potential sites for random selection by the independent scientists."

The move follows a report from the governments advisory committee on the farm-scale evaluations which said a wider choice of sites would be needed to ensure the trial was fully representative. &#42