7 July 2000
France’s GM maize over here?

By FWi staff

MAIZE seed in France contaminated with genetically modified material may have been imported to Britain, the government has conceded.

Maize seed containing genetically modified material up to levels of 1% was planted on up to 1 million hectares across Europe, it was alleged earlier this year.

French newspapers revealed last week that conventional maize with low levels of contamination had indeed been sown in south-west France.

It is understood that three different modifications have been found in unknown varieties of forage maize drilled by French farmers.

Junior agriculture minister Baroness Hayman is now making inquiries to see whether GM-contaminated maize grown in France has also been sown in the UK.

She told the House of Lords it was possible the GM-contaminated maize seed had not crossed the Channel if it was unsuitable for growing in Britain.