18 February 2000

No green light for GM maize

THE government has denied the inclusion of GM maize on an EU seed list could mean GM crops are grown commercially in the UK before farm-scale trials are completed.

The EU Commission is considering an application to put three varieties of GM maize on the EUs Common Catalogue. The catalogue is a compilation of all EU member states National Seed Lists.

Friends of the Earth said the move would give "the green light to the industry to push on with the technology" Campaigners said the government needed to oppose the move because it had promised not to travel further down the road to commercialisation."

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth has called for the government to address the issue of liability should something go wrong.

The NFU Mutual has confirmed that it will not offer cover for loss in either land value or crops because of crop pollination. No insurer provided cover for the risk of GM contamination said a spokesman for the company.