09 September 1999
GM trials ‘not tough enough’

GOVERNMENT trials of genetically-modified (GM) crops are not rigorous enough, claims the chairman of the Countryside Alliance rural pressure group.

John Jackson, who is also chairman of Celltech International, a biopharmaceutical company, said he was “absolutely certain” that testing of GM crops should continue.

But he voiced concern about their effect on human health and wildlife.

Mr Jackson said people would have to be alert to the possibility of allergy or long-term toxicity for some considerable time.

He said he was “uneasy” about the environmental implications of GM trials.

The government is still trying to find at least 60 trial plots needed next year for tests of three GM varieties.

It wants to grow trials of GM herbicide resistant winter, GM spring-sown oilseed rape and GM fodder maize.