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Checkbiotech: GM Crops 'Do not harm environment'
Posted by: DR. RAUPP & madora (IP Logged)
Date: November 30, 2004 10:13AM ;

A study of genetically modified crops in the UK found today there was no
evidence that they are harmful to the environment, November 2004 by Emily
Pennink .

The Bright project focused on GM sugar beet and winter oilseed rape which
is tolerant to some herbicides compared with non-GM cereals grown in
rotation over a four-year period.

It found the GM crops, used in rotation, did not deplete the soil of weed
seeds needed by many birds and other wildlife.

The Botanical and Rotational Implications of Genetically Modified Herbicide
Tolerance (Bright) Link project was sponsored by the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Scottish Executive
Environment and Rural Affairs Department (Seerad).

It was carried out by a group of research partners and industrial partners
and co-ordinated by Dr Jeremy Sweet, of the National Institute of
Agricultural Botany.

The aim of Bright was to mimic normal agricultural practice and measure how
GM crops performed in a crop rotation.

As well as finding no evidence of seed depletion, there were also some
potential benefits to farmers of growing the GM crops, according to the

The findings come as the GM debate gathers pace in the UK.

Earlier this year, Government advisers said farmers who grow genetically
modified herbicide-tolerant maize crops under strict rules would not see
adverse effects on wildlife.

But the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (Acre), which
studied the results of a three-year field scale trial of crops, said GM beet
and spring-sown oilseed rape would have a negative impact on arable weed
populations with a knock-on effect on birds and insects.

In September, a survey showed public attitudes to GM foods were hardening.

More than six out of 10 people (61%) polled on behalf of the consumer
magazine Which? said they were concerned about the use of GM material in
food production ? up from 56% in 2002.


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