Industry denies GM crop rumours

17 March 1999

Industry denies GM crop rumours

BIOTECHNOLOGY industry representatives have denied claims they are prepared to limit the area of genetically modified (GM) crops planted in 2000 and 2001.

The claims were made in an internal government document, produced on 21 February, which said the Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Crops (SCIMAC) had “indicated a willingness in principle” to enter into such an agreement.

SCIMAC, whose members include the National Farmers Union, is the industry body set up to support the introduction of GM crops in the UK.

Daniel Persall, SCIMAC chairman, said discussions with the government were continuing but said there was no intention of agreeing limits on the amount planted.

The denial came as one of the biggest GM companies, Novartis, warned that a ban on genetically modified crops could destroy European farming.

Wolfgang Samo, Novartiss head of agribusiness, said a moratorium backed by environmental groups and the Conservative Party would have be “disastrous”.

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