17 July 1998

MAFFapproves seed project

TO help organic growers meet an EU ruling that all seed must come from organic sources by the year 2000, MAFF has approved a £30,000 project at Elm Farm Research Centre to investigate sources and to try to stimulate organic seed growing.

Creating an organic seed production base should allow the organic sector, which has clearly rejected genetic engineering, to ring-fence itself against the technique, says EFRC director, Lawrence Woodward.

Currently, under EU rules on labelling organic produce (EU 2092/91), organic growers may use conventional seed, albeit without seed dressings, if they cannot obtain organic supplies. That facility ends in 2000. &#42