16 October 1998

Sowing ban vetoed

AGROCHEMICAL companies poured cold water on environmental campaigners hopes of a three-year moratorium on genetically modified crop plantings by refusing to participate in a self-imposed ban on sowing.

Rumours of a moratorium snowballed last week after environmentalists and the GM crop companies were invited for talks with government environmental officials.

But a DETR spokesman said for a ban to be introduced, all 15 EU member states would first have to agree on that path of action before government would consider it as an option. The only quick way for a moratorium to be introduced would be for the companies involved to take such action voluntarily.

But the agrochemical companies dismissed that.