Organic farmer loses GM crop appeal - Farmers Weekly

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Organic farmer loses GM crop appeal

22 July 1998
Organic farmer loses GM crop appeal

LEADING organic farmer Guy Watson yesterday lost his Court of Appeal bid to stop trials of genetically-modified maize on a farm adjacent to his property.

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Organic farmer loses GM crop appeal

22 July 1998
Organic farmer loses GM crop appeal

LEADING organic farmer Guy Watson yesterday lost his Court of Appeal bid to stop trials of genetically-modified (GM) maize on a farm adjacent to his property.

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Courts rejection of Mr Watsons application for a judicial review of the trialling of GM crops. Mr Watson argued that the GM maize being grown next to his farm at Buckfastleigh, Devon, could cross-pollinate with his own organic corn crop, costing him up to £20,000 in lost income.

But the three judges presiding over the case ruled unanimously that they had no authority to order the destruction of the GM crop, despite finding that the Government had disregarded seed trial laws when approving the experiment.

The decision has thrown the future of GM seed trials in the UK into confusion. It is not yet known whether the UKs 1,200 trials – involving up to 500 plant varieties – will be affected.

The Soil Association said the ruling could put back the introduction of GM crops by two years. The Ministry of Agriculture said it was studying the Court of Appeals decision and considering possible action.

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