Britains biggest farmer bans GM trials

30 March 1999

Britain’s biggest farmer bans GM trials

By FWi staff

Britains biggest farming group, CWS Agriculture, has refused to take part in government trials of genetically modified (GM) crops.

The trials, announced in October, are intended to monitor the environmental impact of GM oilseed rape and GM maize when planted on a commercial scale.

CWS Agriculture, part of the Co-operative Wholesale Society, refused government requests to provide two of the four test sites for planting this year.

The company said it was not against genetically modified crops in principle, but it believed that the trials would do little to allay consumer concerns.

CWS, the largest farming business in the UK, farms more than 32,376ha (80,000 acres) throughout the UK.

It has strongly espoused environmental farm management techniques and has pioneered methods that reduce the need for chemicals.

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