GENTECH archive


moratorium in UK

I've just been sent that.

>Reply-To: "Steve Emmott (Stephen Emmott)" <>
> A Bad Week for Biotech--UK Imposes GMO Moratorium
>There is now a moratorium on commercial cultivation of all GM crops in =
>UK, pending a re-assessment of the long-term and indirect environmental
>impact including the wider biodiversity issues. Basically, the UK
>government has accepted the position of its conservation body, English
>Nature, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) that =
>will take at least three years to conduct the studies.
>The first spring planting of PGS rapeseed  foreseen for 2000, will =
>certainly now not take place. Autumn rapeseed is still being blocked by
>France. The previous agreement for a three-year moratorium on Bt maize =
>still in place. These limits can be extended and the Government has =
>it will legislate if necessary, although it is not clear how it could =
>this except by using the Article 16 route under 90/220.
>The briefing paper prepared by the Secretariat of the Advisory =
>on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) shows a new-found radicalism. =
>is concern about the decline in the diversity and abundance of wildlife
>within and surrounding farmland.....the introduction of GM crops into
>commercial agriculture must not contribute further to these declines".
>ACRE advises that the potential effects of GM crops on biodiversity in
>North America and Europe should not be compared too closely because of =
>fundamental difference that in the US and Canada large areas are set =
>for nature conservation. This is a blow to the mutual recognition =
>and confirms the obvious-the European environment is different to North
>Better still, the report confirms that *the present legislation does =
>take a strategic approach to regulating GMOs and reacts to developments =
>assessing applications.... as they are submitted on a =B0first come =
>served=A2 basis. It says that *there is increasing evidence of a link
>between the decline of wildlife and the intensification of agriculture*
>and *the policies and programmes put into place to conserve and enhance
>wildlife diversity and abundance in farmed land must be taken into =
>during the GM crop marketing approval.*
>There is also a suggestion of a risk/benefit analysis on wildlife =
>(though not a socio-economic one) and a comment that *there is little
>evidence so far that these benefits will be realised*
>The ACRE paper is on their website at
>There is also a Report on the environmental risks of the PGS oilseed =
rape at
>To finish off a bad week for biotech, there is a report that the chair =
>ACRE, John Beringer, not previously seen to be very sensitive to =
>irregularities, has reported Zeneca to the UK Health and Safety =
>Nigel Poole, Zeneca=A2s front man, and various staff were pictured =
>whole GM tomatoes which are not yet approved for deliberate release. =
>transmission of the seeds via the digestive system into the waste =
>would constitute a breach of the regulations!
>The European Dimension
>The UK is now more or less certain to make objections and to vote =
>any new commercial approvals for cultivation in the Article 21 =
>of national experts and in Council. Their concerns bring them closer to
>the French position where there is also an effective moratorium. With
>support from Denmark, Austria, Greece and others, there is a clear
>blocking minority for the four dossiers currently before the Council. =
>all makes it much more unlikely that the Commission will move against =
>Austria and Luxembourg Novartis bans, or against France for its =
>blocking of dossiers. It also makes it politically difficult for the
>Commission to use its residual powers under 90/220 to impose =
>where the Council fails to reach a decision.
>The Greens have tabled an Oral Question for debate with the German
>Presidency on Council policy towards a GMO moratorium.
>Steve Emmott

>Tel/fax (00 32) (0) 2 284 2026
>Annexe convertie: Macintosh HD:UKMORATA.DOC (WDBN/MSWD) (00012177)