16 July 1998
GM scheme under fire

GOVERNMENT plans to allow companies to monitor their own genetically modified products after they have been put into agricultural production, have come under fire during a House of Lords select committee hearing on GMs.

The criticism was led by former farm minister Lord Jopling, who suggested that it would be better to have independent monitoring to ensure that a thorough and accurate picture of a crops impact on the environment was gained. That could then be financed by the companies rather than passed on to the taxpayer, he added.

The Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions representative, Linda Smith, responded.

She said that the government would ensure independent monitoring was used to assess the results produced by the companies. And she suggested farmers may also be enlisted to provide additional monitoring of GM crops.