GM food lobby in crop set-back

Supporters of genetically modified crops are bracing themselves against a critical report which will reveal that the experimental plants are harmful to the environment.

    French anti-globalization activist Jose Bove was jailed for destroying genetically modified crops

    GM crops, better known as Frankenstein Food by their critics, have come under intense scrutiny from scientists who will warn the British government next week of the dangers of the technology.

    Two of the three GM crops being grown experimentally in Britain appear more harmful to the environment than conventional crops and should not be commercially grown, say the scientists.

    They  conclude, according to a report in Thursday's Guardian newspaper, that the growing of GM oil seed rape and sugar beet is damaging to plant and insect life.

    This particular judgement will be regarded as a serious setback to the GM lobby across Europe but will delight activists like French farmer Jose Bove who recently was sent to prison for destroying GM crops.

    Weeds and insects

    The third crop on trial in Britain, GM maize, allows the survival of more weeds and insects and might be recommended for approval, though some scientists still have reservations, according to the findings to be published in a scientific journal on October 10.

    The British government plans to back European Union rules which would give the green light to the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain

    A report in The Sunday Times

    Results of the three years of field scale trials - the largest scientific experiment of its type on GM crops anywhere - will be published in "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society" a week on Friday.

    According to a report in The Sunday Times last month, leaked letters show that the government plans to back European Union rules which would give the green light to the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain.

    A leaked exchange of ministerial letters demonstrated that ministers will support moves in Brussels to ban GM-free zones and allow the "co-existence" of GM with conventional crops.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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