17 September 1999
GM crop trial could be dug up

THREE trial crops of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape could be dug up after the government admitted it acted illegally in allowing them to be planted.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher will not be contesting an application by Friends of the Earth for a judicial review of the procedures governing GM trials.

But Friends of the Earth could decide to pursue the matter in the courts, which may result in the fields being dug up, according to the London Evening Standard.

Nevertheless, next years programme of farm-scale trials is expected to continue as planned, Mr Meacher told the paper.