03.01.2003 |

UK Study finds high incidence of contamination from GMOs in farm trials

Studies carried out between 1994 and 2000 by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany on GMO farm trials in the United Kingdom show that genes from GM oil seed rape, specially engineered to be resistant to herbicides, contaminated conventional crops as far as 200 meters away. GM oil seed rape that escaped from a crop harvested in 1996 persisted for at least four years, until studies ended in 2000. In another case, the report adds: "It was found that some combine harvesters were not cleaned after the harvesting of the GM crop,'' and "subsequently flushed out'' the GM seed on to ground intended for conventional crops "causing contamination of this field.'' Most worryingly of all, the report shows that the GM crop readily interbred with wild relatives and weeds, wild turnip, giving it resistance to herbicides and thus raising the prospect of the development of "super weeds". The report concludes: "if transgenic oilseed rape is grown on a large scale in the UK, then gene flow will occur between fields, farms and across landscapes".</p><p><a href="http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/epg-1-5-84.htm">Summary and full study published by DEFRA</a></p><p><a href="http://www.foe.org.uk/pubsinfo/infoteam/pressrel/2003/20030102150652.html">press release of Friends of the Earth UK</a>

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