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GOVERNMENT MUST BASE GM DECISION ON SOUND SCIENCE - GEORGE

October 10, 2003 5:49 PM

Cross-pollination of GM oil seed rape with wild plants from the brassica family may create superweeds, according to research by Reading University.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, said:

"The possibility of creating new hybrid weeds - some of which could be difficult to eradicate - is confirmed by this research.

"It is already clear that the public are, at best bemused and, at worst cynically hostile to the proposal that GM crops should be grown in this country.

"Greater reassurances will be required through the satisfactory completion of the scientific trials before the public would ever consider supporting the production of crops for which consumers are not yet expressing any demand.

"We still await the outcome of the Government's own Farm Scale trials, but this latest research really does confirm that if the Government is to base its decision on sound science, then it should not rush to conclusions."