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7-Misc: National Trust in UK bans GM crops from 700 farms



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National Trust bans GM crops from 700 farms
Daily Telegraph, UK
April 1, 1999 

By David Brown, Agriculture Editor 

THE National Trust joined calls for a moratorium on the commercial 
production of genetically modified crops yesterday. The trust said it was 
taking action to stop hundreds of its tenant farmers growing them. 
Farmers will need explicit permission to grow GM crops from now on, it 
said. The move affects more than 700 producers on 575,000 acres of 
National Trust land in England and Wales. It follows decisions by a 
string of supermarkets to exclude GM ingredients from their own-label 
foods and an announcement on Monday by the Co-op, Britain's largest 
farmer, that it would not be taking part in "flawed" Government trials in 
which whole fields are given over to GM crops. In a statement, the trust 
called for a moratorium on GM crops that could pose a risk to wildlife 
and the environment, although it accepted the need for "small scale" 
trials to enable the risks to be assessed. 
John Harvey, the trust's head of nature conservation, said: "The 
difficulty with GM crops is that we do not know the risks. A moratorium 
on the commercial growing of these crops is the only sensible way 
forward, to allow the risks to be scientifically assessed. It may take 
one year, it may take 10. There should be no commercial growing until the 
scientific judgment is made." The trust also said that it was removing 
all foods labelled as containing GM ingredients from sale in its 136 
tearooms and restaurants and 127 shops, which sell a range of foods from 
jams to Christmas puddings. Inga Grimsey, managing director of National 
Trust Enterprises, said: "We are checking every food product on our 
shelves and every ingredient in our menus to ensure they are not labelled 
as containing genetically modified ingredients, as defined in recent 
legislation. 
"Any GM-labelled products or those containing ingredients labelled as 
genetically modified are being removed from sale. We are requesting 
written assurance from our suppliers that all the ingredients and goods 
supplied to us are GM free."  She said the trust was not claiming that 
there was anything wrong with these products but felt that consumers 
would rather know what they were buying.


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