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Rothamsted Research Granted Permission by Defra to Conduct GM Wheat Field Trials
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: April 14, 2017 04:20PM

Research.jpgThe Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
has granted permission to Rothamsted Research to conduct field trials of
wheat plants genetically modified (GM) to carry out photosynthesis more
efficiently. The field trial will evaluate the performance of the engineered
plants in the field.

Scientists at Rothamsted Research, together with researchers at the
University of Essex and Lancaster University, have developed wheat plants
with increased efficiency to convert energy from sunlight into biomass.
Rothamsted Research submitted the application to Defra on November 3, 2016,
for permission to carry out GM field trials on the Rothamsted Farm between
2017 and 2019. The risk assessment was reviewed by the independent Advisory
Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE), and a 48-day public
consultation was carried out by Defra. All scientific issues raised by the
public with respect to this application have been addressed, according to

Dr. Malcolm Hawkesford, Head of the Plant Biology and Crop Science
Department at Rothamsted Research and lead scientist at Rothamsted for this
trial said, "The trial will be a significant step forward as we will be able
to assess in ?real environmental conditions' the potential of these plants
to produce more using the same resources and land area as their non-GM
counterparts. These field trials are the only way to assess the viability of
a solution that can bring economic benefits to farmers, returns to the UK
taxpayer from the long-term investment in this research, benefits to the UK
economy as a whole and the environment in general."


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