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More news about UK crop trials

(May 17, 2001 Cropchoice news) The scientific committee in charge of the program of transgenic crop trials in the United Kingdom appears ready to proceed with a particularly contentious test in Wolston, Warwickshire, three kilometers from the largest organic research center in Europe.

The intensity escalated when the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds threatened to resign from the committee if it continued with the trial. The Society is the largest non-profit conservation organization in Europe overlooking the trials.

A spokesman for the committee said that Aventis, which is using the program to evaluate its transgenic technology, had followed UK organic standards that the Soil Association established when it sited the test three kilometers from the Henry Doubleday Research Organization.

However, Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, told Just-food.com: "This is the forces of darkness deliberately trying to wreck organic agriculture by growing GM crops next to a centre of organic excellence. It is particularly scandalous that a body that has a vested interest in destroying organic agriculture should behave in this way. If there is the slightest chance of contaminating organic seed and so losing its status then the trial should be stopped. We have taken advice from the National Pollen Research Unit and experts there say a 6km zone should be applied. This is because the beehives on the Henry Doubleday site could cause cross contamination. There are sinister motives at work here. Once the GM industry can contaminate organic seed there is no going back. They know that and they see this trial as a way of doing it."

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