GM crop trials 'should be secret'
2008 07 29

By Pallab Ghosh | news.bbc.co.uk

Senior researchers have called for the location of small open-air trials of GM crops to be kept secret.

The researchers say that vandalism of GM crop trials is holding back research in the area.

Current legislation requires the exact location of GM crop trials to be publicly available.

But according to those engaged in active research, that information is invariably used by anti-GM protesters to disrupt experiments.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which licenses open air trials commented: "EU legislation says that we must disclose GM trial locations to the public.

"We are awating a European Court of Justice ruling, likely later this year, on a French legal case that should clarify how the EU law in this area can be interpreted by Member States."

Professor Howard Atkinson began a trial of GM potatoes earlier this year which he hoped would be resistant to disease.

The crops were pulled up three weeks after they were planted. Professor Atkinson is due to meet with the environment minister Phil Woolas in early September and will ask him to consider making changes to the current legislation.

"We should follow the same approach as that followed in Canada for very small scale trials of say 400 plants or so - where the risks are looked at by a panel but the location of those sites is not revealed," Professor Atkinson explained.

"The other possibility is to identify some national testing centre or centres where such trials could be run securely without the risk of zealots destroying them".

Security issues

Professor Atkinson said that open air trials were necessary to develop crops that could not only help farmers in the UK - but also help increase food production in Africa.

The disruption of trials, he said, has already led to companies moving away from the UK and academic research in the area has begun to decline.

"Academically, there has been a reduction in the attempt to do work of this type - they've found other problems to look at - but these are not generating practical benefits immediately and certainly not facing up to the big issue of food security in Africa," he said.

"As far as companies are concerned, they can do this sort of work elsewhere"

Jim Dunwell of Reading University and a member of ACRE, the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, said there had been a sharp drop in the number of GM crop trials in Britain over the last few years with just one application for this year, down from about 20 to 30 per year in the late 1990s.

Local communities
Wayne Powell, who is the director of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge, was engaged in a trial of a crop that had the potential to benefit banana growers in Uganda. It was disrupted by protesters last year.

As a result, he said: "We now have 24-hour security, we have fences around materials."

However, anti-GM campaigners, such as Claire Oxborough of Friends of the Earth, believe that the trials should be stopped altogether.

She commented: "Friends of the Earth would have deep concerns about making them secret because of the potential risks that they pose.

"They are at the very early stages of development - we don't know the impact they'll have on the environment and on health and very often these trials are not set up to look at that."

She added: "What you don't want to do is get into a situation where in rural communities you have an air of distrust - rumours, speculation going on because no one knows what their neighbours might be growing.

"We need transparency - we need to know where these field trials are taking place so that farmers and the public can be adequately protected."

Article from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7529590.stm



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Why Canít We Publish Addresses Of New York Times Reporters?
2014 11 28
New York Times reporters Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson published the address of Darren Wilson in the New York Times so here are their addresses. GotNews.com strenuously objects to publishing the addresses of individuals who are being targeted with death threats. GotNews.com published the address of Ebola patient Nina Pham so that people could avoid going to her Dallas apartment. But it would ...
Terrorists? Interview with Varg Vikernes and Marie Cachet
2014 11 28
Marie Cachet and Varg Vikernes are what we call commonly ordinary people. However, for motives meanly political, the Ministry of the Interior decided to abuse its power to damage them ; "there is nothing more annoying than a low man placed in high position." (Roman saying) Today, Varg risks the eviction of the French territory without valid ground. Three very ...
The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan - The Genocide Of The People Of Europe
2014 11 28
Mass immigration is a phenomenon, the causes of which are still cleverly concealed by the system, and the multicultural propaganda is trying to falsely portray it as inevitable. With this article we intend to prove once and for all, that this is not a spontaneous phenomenon. What they want to present as an inevitable outcome of modern life, is actually ...
Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
More News Ľ