4 September 1998

GM crops likely to cut the cost of herbicides

CONTRARY to widespread belief, suppliers of crops genetically modified to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides are unlikely to be able to hold growers to ransom over weed control methods.

Mike May, senior liaison officer at IACR Brooms Barn, says far from leaving growers with limited options, competitively priced GM technology is likely to force the price of conventional alternative herbicides down further.

"There is talk in government circles that only one herbicide resistance might be allowed in each crop species. Even if that was the case, it would still be possible to grow conventional varieties using selective herbicides," says Mr May.

"It is wrong to think that major chemical companies such as Monsanto will have a monopoly." &#42