We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Opportunity for rethink on GM crops - George

March 31, 2004 6:59 PM

Tractor in a field.The decision of BayerCropScience to pull out of efforts to grow GM maize in the UK provides a golden opportunity for the Government to finally get it right on GMs, the Liberal Democrats said today.

The biotech giant announced this morning that it has decided to discontinue efforts to commercialise Chardon LL maize in the UK, admitting that the variety was 'economically non-viable'.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, Andrew George MP said:

"Biotech companies want the profit but not the problems from GM crops. Bayer admit that having vital systems to protect consumers, farmers and the environment would mean GM crops simply aren't worth the trouble.

"It also shows that the Government's decision to go-ahead with Chardon LL was ill-judged. It gave only conditional approval for the next 2 years - implying that there may be problems with the crop.

"The licence would then only have been renewed in October 2006 if further evidence was provided, calling into question why it was acceptable for the crop to be grown next year. If there were so many difficulties, why did the Government ever give the go-ahead?

"Bayer's decision now gives Ministers time to get it right on GMs, having so far got it so wrong. New research on scientific gaps must be commissioned while the Government consult properly with all parties.

"The Government has been treating Parliament as a noticeboard rather than a debating chamber. Trying to run away from full parliamentary scrutiny will only mean that the Government's snatched decisions will continue to be ill-considered."