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UK environment minister skeptical about biotech crops, authorities investigate unauthorized seed at trial sites

(Aug. 19, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- UK environment minister Michael Meacher said today that he disliked what he regarded as US pressure on Britain to commercialize genetically engineered crops. Meacher reportedly views agricultural biotechnology with some skepticism.

He told The Independent newspaper: "We are not going to be bounced into this by the Americans."

Meacher's statements may further antagonize a government facing criticism over last week's discovery of unauthorized genetically engineered seed at the sites of biotech oilseed rape trials.

That is precisely what officials at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) were dealing with today. They told farmers not to plant any of the rapeseed until laboratory tests confirm that the seeds are the authorized variety, which likely will take a week. Sources: The Independent, Reuters

See the story featuring Meacher's comments at http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=325698