28 May 1999

GM trials announced

LOCATIONS of the seven farm-scale trials of genetically modified crops have been announced by the cross-industry body the Supply Chain Initiative for Modified Agricultural Crops.

A SCIMAC spokesman said the objective of this government-funded programme was to establish a study to measure the effects of herbicide-tolerant crops on farmland wildlife and biodiversity.

Trials of spring rape will take place at farms in Hannington, Wilts; Boothby Graffoe, Lincs; and Shirburn, Oxon. Forage maize trials will be held at Spital-in-the-Street, Lincs; Lyng, Norfolk; Mortimer, Berks; and Harpenden, Hants, while further trials of winter crops will begin later in the year at undisclosed locations.

Meanwhile, anti-GM campaigners have attacked GM trial site at plant breeders Svalof Weibull near Huntingdon, Cambs. The attack also damaged conventional crop trials.

Managing director of the company, Christopher Green, said: "What is disheartening was that a lot of time and effort on our conventional material has been wasted. We are living within the regulations and trying to derive answers demanded by the public but the illegal actions of a few has created wanton destruction." &#42