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Wednesday, 03 February 2010

UK: GM trials spark controversy

New GM crop trials are to be carried out in Britain after a trial by Leeds University successfully produced GM potatoes in 2009. The scientists who carried out the trial are to apply for a licence to continue testing crops in 2010 on dedicated testing farms around the UK. The government's chief scientific advisor, John Beddington, recently spoke out to the farming community advising a 'green revolution' to help combat problems of exploding population size and rising temperatures, according to the Guardian. The measures he advocated included nanotechnology and GM farming. However, organic farmers and environmentalists oppose the plan, saying GM foods are potentially damaging. According to Greenpeace: 'The long term effects of GM crops have not been properly researched and, by cross-pollinating with non-GM crops and wild plants, they replicate themselves and contaminate the environment with genetic pollution that is impossible to clean up.' The Food Standards Agency, however, says: 'Each GM food is assessed for safety, including its toxicological, nutritional and allergenic potential, on a case-by-case basis before it can be approved for marketing.

Source: Freshplaza