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Curb on GM crop trials after insect pollution

(Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Robert Uhlig, The Daily Telegraph (London), 10/14/03: Stringent new rules for trials of genetically modified crops are to be imposed after Government researchers found that insects carried pollen more than six times the distance previously known. They also found one sowing of GM crops could contaminate non-GM and organic crops for more than 16 years.

The research, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, came as thousands of people protested in London against GM crops and delivered a 70,000-signature petition to Downing Street yesterday.

Scientists at the Central Science Laboratory found that GM oilseed rape had cross-pollinated with non-GM oilseed rape plants more than 16 miles away. A second study by the Scottish Crop Research Institute found that if farmers grew GM oilseed rape for one season it would take 16 years for contamination by wild GM plants produced by seed from the first planting to fall to below one per cent contamination.

Meanwhile, the row between Europe and America over GM crops moved up a gear yesterday when Margot Wallstrom, the Environment Commissioner, accused US biotech companies of "trying to lie" and "force" unsuitable GM technology on to Europe. She said public suspicion and fears about the technology had been fuelled by US lobbying tactics.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/14/ngm14.x ml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/14/ixhome.html