31 May 2000
Monsanto’s tales of the unexpected

BIOTECHNOLOGY company Monsanto has admitted that some of its genetically modified products contain unexpected gene fragments.

This admission raises fresh doubts over whether genetic modification technology is properly understood, reports The Guardian.

Roundup Ready soya beans grown commercially in the USA for four years have been found to contain the extra fragments.

These have been used in processed food sold in Britain, says the newspaper.

Inactive material was inserted at the same time as a gene which ensures the seed is not killed by weedkiller.

Monsanto and the British government insist the beans are no more risky to human health than conventional varieties.

Meanwhile the Financial Times reports that the EU seed committee has agreed to discuss short-term measures on seed purity at an ad hoc meeting in June.

This follows the furore over the accidental sowing of GM rape in four European countries.

  • The Guardian 31/05/2000 page 1
  • Financial Times 31/05/2000 page 15