12 September 2000
GM crops ‘can preserve wildlife’

By FWi staff

GENETICALLY modified crops could help preserve farm wildlife, claims the former head of the governments committee on the technology.

Sir John Beringer said there should be greater support for farmers to manage biodiversity on their farms, reports the Financial Times.

GM technology would allow more weeds — vital to insects and birds — to be left, he told the British Association for the Advancement of Science festival.

Herbicide-resistant crops would allow herbicide use to be reduced, said Sir John, who chaired the advisory committee on releases into the environment.

He said about 10-20% of a field could be weeds but still provide a good yield, reports The Guardian

Sir John said first generation GM crops, which can cause big declines in insect populations, were a poor example of what the technology could achieve.