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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM Freeze comment: UK GM wheat trial extended

Immediate release (14 Jun 2013)

Commenting on the Government’s approval of the Rothamsted Research application to extend the GM wheat trial in Hertfordshire GM Freeze Campaign Director Pete Riley said:

GM Freeze is disappointed that the Government has given the go ahead for this trial. There are far more important areas of research that could really use this public money, such as restoring UK soils. There is no market for GM wheat anywhere in the world, so why spend public money on a crop on one wants?

Given the ongoing unexplained GM contamination of US wheat caused by an escaped GM trial that ended years ago, the Government needs to ensure the seed used in this trial is very tightly controlled, including storage facilities and other and systems, to prevent a similar GM escape happening in the UK. Other GM contamination incidents in the US have following experimental releases, so we need to be very clear who will be liable to pick up the cleanup tab if this GM wheat gets out. In this case that should be Rothamsted, but without a proper liability scheme in place it is likely to be taxpayers.