Scots council halts GM trial

25 August 2000

Scots council halts GM trial

By FWi staff

A SCOTTISH council has used planning permission powers to halt a genetically modified crop trial

On Thursday (24 Aug) Farmer James Grant of the Black Isle was served a notice banning him from sowing GM seed without first securing change of use permission from Highland Council.

The council says Mr Grant is changing land use from cultivation to scientific research in holding the trial for biotechnology company Aventis.

This argument was put forward by Greenpeace earlier this month, and rejected by the Ministry of Agriculture this week.

Mr Grant must now decide whether to appeal or carry on with the oilseed rape trial or risk criminal proceedings from the council, reports The Times.

Highland Council believes this is a test case to prove whether local authorities can quash GM trials approved by central government.

This week MAFF said it had no doubt agricultural research undertaken in the farm scale evaluations does come within the meaning of agriculture.

It said research has been an integral feature of agriculture for many years.

John Farquar Munro, MSP for Inverness, has said he will call for the Scottish Parliament to pass an emergency motion banning new trials if Highland fails in its attempt.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports that American farmers are warning that GM crops could become an albatross around growers necks.

The American Corn Growers Association says growing biotech crops is costing US farmers 700m in lost markets.

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