12 March 1999
‘GM crops could harm land values’

FARMERS who plant GM crops could see their land values fall, warned the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) yesterday (Thursday).

Tenants of such land might face bills to make up the shortfall, according to The Independent and the Financial Times.

The RICS is calling for a land register so potential buyers and banks can find out if and when GM crops have been planted or grown in a particular holding.

The Independent also reports that government advisors are to investigate the effects on wildlife and biodiversity of growing GM crops commercially.

Another story in the same paper reports Lord Sainsbury has been appointed to head a government team to promote GM food companies.

The controversial science minister has been at the centre of controversy over his involvement in various biotech companies exploiting GM technologies.

Other stories involving GM food include an announcement that the supermarket chain Waitrose is moving to ban GM ingredients from its own-label foods.

It has also emerged that United Biscuits wants an international hallmark system to identify all genetically modified (GM) foods.