01 June 1999
Mixed news on GM crops

THERE was good and bad news emerging in the debate on genetically modified (GM) food in the national newspapers.

The Independent and The Herald both report that thalidomide victims have called for an immediate ban on all GM foods.

Thalidomide UK said that GM foods could be the most dangerous chemicals of all time and have called for more testing.

Meanwhile, a report from English Nature warns that GM versions of native grasses, fish and trees could cause ecological disaster with wild species if they are released.

English Nature urges genetic modification of wild species to be discussed urgently by the new Agricultural and Environment Biotechnology Commission.

On a more optimistic note, The Daily Telegraph claims that US farmers are reporting more birds of prey and other wildlife in crops of GM cotton, soya and maize.

The recovery has been linked to increasing insect life on farms which cut back on pesticides sprayed previously in repeated heavy doses to protect conventional crops.

  • The Independent 01/06/99 page 5 (In Brief)
  • The Daily Telegraph 01/06/99 page 11
  • The Herald 01/06/99 page 6