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Opposition to transgenic crop trials continues in UK

(May 14, 2001 -- Cropchoice news) -- UK farmers, activists, and, now, bird watchers, are picketing a proposed transgenic crop trial on a farm in Wolston, Warwickshire, less than two miles from the largest organic agriculture research center in Europe. They're concerned that pollen from transgenic plants will contaminate the Henry Doubleday seedbank.

Indeed, the Soil Association, the certifier of organic farms, has warned that it will withdraw the license of the seedbank if any such contamination occurs.

Environment minister Michael Meacher, who has called for laws making producers of transgenic crops liable for any genetic contamination of organic or conventional farms, also wants the trials stopped. However, the independent Scientific Steering Committee, which oversees such trials, has so far refused to do so.

Two transgenic trials were canceled in Pembrokeshire last week following the complaints of organic and conventional farmers.

Related Cropchoice story: www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=318