10 November 2000
Now cows trash GM crop

By FWi staff

A TRIAL site of genetically modified maize has been vandalised – by straying cattle.

The National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology has notified the Ministry of Agriculture of damage to a National Seed List trial of GM forage maize in Somerset.

NIAB said the damage was caused by cattle which wandered onto the site in October. It says there is no evidence that the cattle ate any of the maize.

Sheridan, the variety in question, has full approval under European GM legislation to be marketed for both animal and human food use.

The undamaged maize at the site has since been harvested.

All major agricultural and vegetable species – conventional and GM – grown commercially in the UK must first be placed on the National Seed List.

To do so, they must first undergo the trials run by NIAB to ensure that varieties are distinct, uniform and stable and a value for cultivation and use.

These are quite separate from high-profile farm-scale trials investigating the environmental impact of GM crops.