26 October 2001
Farmers to grow poppies for drugs?

By Tom Allen-Stevens

BRITISH farmers could start growing poppies to make drugs under a innovative scheme which will be launched next month.

United Oilseeds is looking for UK farmers to grow poppies which be destined for morphine production, the company said.

United denied that the project had anything to do with the bombing of Afghanistan, where farmers grow poppies for the worlds opium market.

But it will gauge grower interest at an open-meeting with the British Association of Seed Producers on 5 November near Salisbury.

Agronomy, commercialisation and the latest trials work from IACR Rothamsted will be presented at the evening event.

MacFarlan Smith, a Scottish-based company with the only license in the UK to produce morphine from poppies, will conduct a presentation.

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