GM crop moratorium looks unlikely

12 October 1998

GM crop moratorium looks unlikely

By FWi staff

ENVIRONMENTALISTS face an uphill battle in their quest for a ban on genetically modified (GM) crops, it emerged today (Monday).

English Nature, the Governments environmental advisers, has pressed for a three-year moratorium to enable the completion of research into the possible harmful side-effects of GM crops.

The Government is considering a voluntary moratorium, which would outlaw the commercial planting of GM crops until after 2002.

But biotech industry leaders have rejected the idea of voluntary action, discussed at a meeting with Government officials last week.

And a European Commission spokesman today warned that the UK would be breaching European legislation if it attempted to impose a mandatory ban on GM crops.

Scientists must find evidence that GM crops are harmful if a Government-led moratorium or ban is to survive EU scrutiny.

The first GM crop, a herbicide-resistant variety of oilseed rape, is due to be planted next spring.

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