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GE -UK Govt. uses outright lies in attempt to keep tests secret



1) The Times  BY VALERIE ELLIOTT AND NICK NUTTAll 11/9/99
2) EXCITE UK -SECRECY THREAT AS FARMER PULLS OUT OF GM TRIAL 
Saturday 11 September 1999
3) Details of GM crop trial sites may be kept secret
irresponsibility and the ever increasing corporate control of the food Daily
Telegraph Saturday 11 September 1999 By David Brown, Agriculture Editor 
4) GM trial locations may be kept secret 
The Guardian - Audrey Gillan Saturday September 11, 1999 

[Note from GEN - It is truly outrageous to say that in future the locations of
GE sites in the UK may well be kept secret due to intimidation of those
farmers
having taken part in past trials. Just take a look and consider who is
intimidating who here. It is the government who seem to be attempting to
intimidate those wanting to protest yet people have very real concerns
about GE
crops being grown in their local areas. 
The argument that concerned members of public have is certainly not aimed at
the farmers who are now finding themselves simply caught in the middle - but
rather at Government irresponsibility and the ever increasing corporate
control
of the food chain by corporations such as AgrEvo, Monsanto, Zeneca and
others.]

1) The Times  BY VALERIE ELLIOTT AND NICK NUTTAll 11/9/99
GREATER secrecy for future genetically modified crop trials is being
planned by
the Government after another farmer has withdrawn from environmental tests.
Instead of publishing site grid references in local newspapers, only a general
geographic location based on council area or parish will appear. The proposal
is based on a system used in France and is among options drawn up by
officials.
Ministers will meet urgently before the month's end to decide the way
forward.But they are still reluctant to impose a German-style blanket ban on
naming sites. Today they will announce the site of the fourth GM oil seed rape
trial - at Glebe Farm, Bracebridge Heath, in Lincolnshire. Michael Meacher,
the
Environment Minister, yesterday hinted at the latest move: "We do need to
think
carefully about the amount of detail that we publish about field trial
locations." He spoke out as AgrEvo, the biotechnology company providing GM
seeds and paying farmers to conduct the tests, said yesterday that they had
gone ahead with three GM crop trials - backed by the Government - despite a
High Court challenge by campaigners over their legality. The court hearing is
not due until the middle of next month. AgrEvo will also publish details of
the
fourth site in today's Lincolnshire Echo, possibly the last announcement
giving
exact map references. Ministers are concerned about farmers and their families
being threatened by anti-GM campaigners and limited site information would
give
greater protection. Mr Meacher said yesterday: "It's very disappointing to see
farmers forced out of a programme they believe in because they can't tolerate
the intimidation meted out to their friends and family." Some farmers
contemplating carrying out trials have had dead animals nailed to their front
doors and their children have been bullied or forced off the school bus, it
was
also claimed yesterday. David Rose, 40, of Home Farm, Screveton,
Nottinghamshire - the latest farmer to pull out of trials - confirmed
yesterday
that a dead crow had been hung at the home of a neighbour with whom he shares
farm machinery. His main reason for pulling out, however, had been the
concerns
of nearby farmers about the proximity of the trial site. 
=============
2) EXCITE UK -SECRECY THREAT AS FARMER PULLS OUT OF GM TRIAL 
Saturday 11 September 1999
The Government is threatening to keep the locations of genetically modified
crop tests secret after a farmer withdrew from a trial fearing sabotage. Home
Farm, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, was one of four sites announced last
month
where large "field-scale" tests of winter oilseed rape would begin, with exact
grid references given for the fields. While three sites had now been planted,
David Rose, who runs Home Farm, had withdrawn. Mr Rose said some local people
had been concerned that the only field available for the trial, on the very
edge of his farm, could have been vulnerable to sabotage. He will now plant a
much smaller trial crop elsewhere. Environment Minister Michael Meacher said:
"It's very disappointing to see farmers forced out of a programme they believe
in because they can't tolerate the intimidation meted out to their friends and
family. "We do need to think carefully about the amount of detail that we
publish about field trial locations." But environmental group Friends of the
Earth, which has applied for a judicial review into the decision to begin the
field-scale tests, said the public would not tolerate secret trials. Director
Charles Secrett said: "The Government will not be able to get away with
holding
the trials in secret. The public has a right to know what is going on, rather
than having GM crops forced on it after secret testing." Mr Rose said he had
received no threats, but had just been concerned with not losing local
goodwill.
==========================
3) Details of GM crop trial sites may be kept secret
Daily Telegraph Saturday 11 September 1999 By David Brown, Agriculture Editor 
bbaf4d.jpg] THE Government may restrict information about new trial sites for
genetically modified crops in an attempt to thwart sabotage attacks by "green"
pressure groups, it emerged yesterday. 
The move, which was condemned by environmentalists but welcomed by farmers,
came after David Rose, a farmer from Bingham, Notts, confirmed that he had
pulled out of field-scale experiments to grow GM oilseed rape. His farm was
among four field trial sites - three of which have been planted as planned. He
will grow a smaller trial plot of GM crops instead. 
Michael Meacher, the environment minister, said: "It's very disappointing to
see farmers forced out of a programme they believe in because they can't
tolerate the intimidation meted out to their friends and family. We do need to
think carefully about the amount of detail that we publish about field trial
locations." Details of the fields of the four farms had been advertised
beforehand, in line with Government policy, complete with map references. 
Mr Rose and his neighbours feared that the site - which was close to a road -
would be a prime target for an attack by anti-GM food extremists. 
Mr Meacher's warning confirmed that the Government was taking greater
notice of
complaints by companies and farmers that they need more protection against
extremists who have vowed to wreck GM trial sites. It coincided with an
announcement from AgrEvo, one of the main international companies involved in
GM crop research in Britain, that the three GM oilseed rape sites - one near
Hemel Hempstead, Herts, and two near Lincoln - had been planted as planned.
The
company said a fourth site - in Lincolnshire - to replace Mr Rose's farm would
be announced in a local newspaper. 
The firm's decision upset environmentalists who had expected the company to
abandon its British testing programme - a move which would have dealt a
devastating blow to the development of GM crops here. 
Charles Secrett, the director of Friends of the Earth, last night attacked the
Government and AgrEvo. "The Government will not be able to get away with
holding the trials in secret," he said. "The public has a right to know
what is
going on, rather than having GM crops forced on it."
==========================
4) GM trial locations may be kept secret 
The Guardian - Audrey Gillan Saturday September 11, 1999 

The government yesterday threatened to keep future locations of genetically
modified crop trials secret after a farmer announced that he had withdrawn
from
a trial because he was afraid of sabotage. The environment minister, Michael
Meacher, said ministers would think carefully about the amount of information
they published about field trial locations. 
"It's very disappointing to see farmers forced out of a programme they believe
in because they can't tolerate the intimidation meted out to their friends and
family," he said. 
Home Farm, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, was one of four sites announced last
month where "field-scale" tests of winter oilseed rape would begin, with exact
grid references given for the fields. 
It emerged two days ago that David Rose, who runs Home Farm, had withdrawn
because he was afraid the field set aside for the experiment on the edge of
his
farm was vulnerable to attack from environmentalists. He will plant a much
smaller trial crop elsewhere. 
But Mr Meacher vowed that GM research would continue. "Despite the
difficulties
they have to endure. You can see farmers are still keen to join the field
trials. Farmers are as concerned as everyone else to find answers to
environmental questions," he said. 
His remarks were criticised by Friends of the Earth, which has applied for a
judicial review of the decision to press ahead with the field-scale tests.
"The
government will not be able to get away with holding the trials in secret,"
its
director, Charles Secrett, said. "The public has a right to know what is going
on, rather than having GM crops forced on it after secret testing." 
Mr Rose also condemned plans to conceal GM trial locations and said it
would be
a "great shame" if the public were kept in the dark. 
Mr Rose withdrew from the scheme after villagers said they thought the
proposed
site was too near them. The farmer agreed to the GM trial as part of an
investigation by the agrochemical company AgrEvo into ways of reducing the use
of fertilisers on farms. 
"We decided we would look at the ways GM technology can benefit the
environment
and put ourselves down as a proposed site. That was leaked to a newspaper
before we could explain to the local people what was going to take place.
Consequently that put everybody's back up," he said. "We had a meeting and
some
of the villagers said 'we are against GM technology' and some said 'we are
against the site'. The majority of people said 'we are actually interested but
we don't think the site is the right location - right next to a village'." 
Several test sites have been targeted by protesters. In July, Greenpeace
activists destroyed a field of modified maize at Lyng, Norfolk. 
A site to replace Home Farm has been chosen in Lincolnshire and will be
announced today. The three other trial sites have already been planted.
Friends
of the Earth had hoped to delay planting of the new trials beyond September
25,
the time by which the oilseed rape had to be sown. 
But Mr Meacher insisted that the government would press ahead with the trials.
He said there was no legal reason to delay the sowing, which would begin
regardless of the judicial review scheduled for mid-October. 

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