SPRING GM TRIAL SITES ANNOUNCEMENT POSTPONED
The outbreak has also triggered a review in government of the future of trials of genetically modified crops. An announcement of sites was expected yesterday but has now been delayed until scientists assess the impact of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
* * *
Farmers face six months of fear - The Times (London) February 27, 2001
Britain's GM TRIALS Affected by Foot and Mouth. (FOE Release, 26February)
The next round of genetically modified farm scale trials is under threat
following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Sixty four
GM sites are due to be named later this week, but the Government is
believed to be considering their immediate future as concern over foot and mouth deepens. Biological research was badly hit during the last outbreak in 1967, and may be severely affected if the epidemic worsens.
The main concern would be GM fodder maize and fodder beet which should
(in theory) be grown on mixed farms or livestock farms. However,
all the trials are potentially under threat. Pete Riley, GM campaigner
at Friends of the Earth said (Excerpt): "The foot and mouth disaster
is having implications in the most unexpected areas. If this epidemic takes
hold as it did in1967, the GM farm scale trials could be under
threat. The last thing farming needs is for the foot and month
situation to be made worse by scientists travelling between farms to carrying out research on crops no one wants to buy. And if the ecological evaluations can't be carried out, there would be no reason for the GM trials to go ahead."
* * *
Guardian letters, 27 Feb 2001:
Is the wind which carries the foot and mouth virus five, ten or 150
miles the same wind which carries pollen from GM crops a careful 300m?