26 February 1999

Survey shows GM fears

NINE out of ten farmers who responded to a survey by the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group have expressed fears about genetically modified crops.

The questionnaire, distributed at the end of a conference held in East Anglia, was completed by 220 delegates, including 108 farmers. A total of 189 delegates expressed some fears about genetically modified crops, of whom 96 were farmers. Information on environmental concerns was still needed by 79% and information on food safety by 52%. Specific fears included loss of habitat; loss of insect life; inadequate research; multi-nationals having too much power; gene transfers; cross pollination; safety in the food chain and consumer trust.

Asked if they would grow genetically modified crops if approved, two-thirds of farmers completing the questionnaire said they would. &#42