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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

Latest FSE Results Are No Justification for GM Go Ahead

Immediate release (21 Mar 2005)

Calls to Pete Riley 07903 341 065

The results of the farm scale evaluations of GM winter oilseed rape, published today, should not be used to justify the commercial go ahead for this controversial crop say the Freeze Campaign.

The results show less dramatic harm to wildlife that either spring oilseed rape or beet both of which were rejected by the Government in 2004 [1]. The latest results for winter oilseed rape are more variable reflecting the difficulties of conducting large scale experiments in the countryside and coming up with clear conclusions.

The latest results show:

  • Fewer broad leaf weeds and seed numbers meaning less food for birds
  • More grass seeds in the GM crop
  • Fewer bees and butterflies in the GM crop in the summer

Commenting on the latest FSE results Pete Riley Director of the Five Year Freeze said:

GM oilseed rape does not come out well from these results. The results are bad news for wildlife because less broad leaf weeds grow in the GM crop and bad news for farmers because the GM crop encourages problem weedy grasses like Black Grass.

The variable results show that after 4 years and millions of public money spent, we are still no closer to finding the most sustainable way to grow winter oilseed rape. If approved GM oilseed rape will spread rapidly around the countryside bringing with it a whole new set of problems for farmers and the environment. Today’s results cannot be used to justify commercial approvals for this GM crop.

Calls to Pete Riley 07903 341 065