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------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  GM crop 'ruins fields for 15 years'
SOURCE: The Independent, UK, by Geoffrey Lean
        http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/environment/article318238.ece
DATE:   9 Oct 2005

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


GM crop 'ruins fields for 15 years'

GM crops contaminate the countryside for up to 15 years after they have
been harvested, startling new government research shows.

The findings cast a cloud over the prospects of growing the modified
crops in Britain, suggesting that farmers who try them out for one season
will find fields blighted for a decade and a half.

Financed by GM companies and Margaret Beckett's Department of the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the report effectively torpedoes the
Government's strategy for introducing GM oilseed rape to this country.

Ministers have stipulated that the crops should not be grown until rules
are worked out to enable them to "co-exist" with conventional ones. But
the research shows that this is effectively impossible.

The study, published by the Royal Society, examined five sites across
England and Scotland where modified oilseed rape has been cultivated, and
found significant amounts of GM plants growing even after the sites had
been returned to ordinary crops. It concludes that the research reveals
"a potentially serious problem associated with the temporal persistence
of rape seeds in soil."

The researchers found that nine years after a single modified crop, an
average of two GM rape plants would grow in every square metre of an
affected field. After 15 years, this came down to one plant per square
metre - still enough to break the EC limits on permissible GM contamination.

Last night Pete Riley, the director of GM Freeze, said; "It is becoming
clearer and clearer that it is going to be impossible to grow GM crops in
Britain."

GM crops contaminate the countryside for up to 15 years after they have
been harvested, startling new government research shows.

The findings cast a cloud over the prospects of growing the modified
crops in Britain, suggesting that farmers who try them out for one season
will find fields blighted for a decade and a half.

Financed by GM companies and Margaret Beckett's Department of the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the report effectively torpedoes the
Government's strategy for introducing GM oilseed rape to this country.

Ministers have stipulated that the crops should not be grown until rules
are worked out to enable them to "co-exist" with conventional ones. But
the research shows that this is effectively impossible.

The study, published by the Royal Society, examined five sites across
England and Scotland where modified oilseed rape has been cultivated, and
found significant amounts of GM plants growing even after the sites had
been returned to ordinary crops. It concludes that the research reveals
"a potentially serious problem associated with the temporal persistence
of rape seeds in soil."




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