GM rapeseed row rumbles on

22 May 2000

GM rapeseed row rumbles on

DEBATE over the revelation that 600 farmers unwittingly planted genetically modified crops after a blunder by suppliers, continues in Mondays (22 May) newspapers.

The mistake could have been avoided if the government had listens to a leading plant research body, reports the Daily Express.

According to government wildlife advisor English Nature, the John Innes Institute forecast cross-contamination of conventional crops in Canada.

The Daily Mail reports that English Nature wants the fields planted with GM crops to be sterilised once the crop is harvested, to prevent any new plants growing.

There is a small risk some of the oilseed rape plants could be fertile, and could flower and breed with other species of plants, says the newspaper.

In an editorial The Mail says English Nature was not made aware of the mistake until a week before it was revealed to the public.

It criticises agriculture minister Nick Brown for “an emerging pattern of denial, contradiction and dither”, and calls for more government honesty.

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