15 June 2001

Opinion divided on big GM crop trials

FARMER opinion is equally split on whether farm-scale GM crop trials should go ahead.

In a 16,800-farmer survey, to which just over 3000 responded, 49% were in favour and 48% against.

Arable farmers were most positive, with 64% saying yes, and hill farmers most opposed, with 78% against GM farm trials, says the Lloyds TSB Agriculture survey. Among beef, sheep and pig producers, 60% were opposed.

Further questioning revealed that only one-third of farmers felt that the ability to use GM technology was very or fairly important, while 42% said it was not important and 22% were undecided. &#42