Search OCA
Get Local!
EU Ponders Buffer Zone Rule That Could Kill Off GE Crops

EU Ponders Buffer Zone Rule That Could Kill Off GE Crops

DAILY MAIL (London)
August 3, 2001

EUROPE COULD UPROOT ALL GM CROPS
BY: James Chapman

GENETICALLY-modified crops could disappear from the British countryside
under EU proposals to save conventional farms from contamination.

New rules would force farmers and scientists growing GM crops to have a vast
buffer zone between their land and non-modified crops.

Friends of the Earth revealed a memo demanding that separation distances
should be increased several fold to five kilometres, just over three miles.
Campaigners said the plans from the European Commission's scientific
committee would stop commercial GM crop production before it has had
the chance to become established.

They said the huge distances would make it impractical for farmers to grow
GM crops because all but a handful of sites would be too close to
conventional fields.

'These proposals should sound the death knell for GM farming in the UK,'
said FoE campaigner Carol Kearney. 'In practice, they will mean a choice
between a GM-free future for farming, or GM-only seed and food.
'We are delighted the proposals take the threat of GM contamination so
seriously - this is the only way to protect consumers from the unknown
hazards of GM food.'

The proposals, aimed at preserving the purity of seeds, would also throw the
Government's GBP 4million programme to test GM maize, oilseed rape and beet
into chaos.

At the moment, scientists conducting the nationwide trials only have to keep
them 50 to 200metres away from other agriculture, depending on the type of
crop.

Campaigners have condemned these limits as inadequate and Ministers have
admitted there will be 'trace' levels of contamination as pollen from GM
crops is carried by insects and on the wind.

However, even the much greater separation distances proposed by the EC
would still allow contamination of non-GM crops by up to one per cent.
Consumer and environmental groups argue that this figure is still far too
high and threatens the livelihood of neighbouring non-GM farmers and
beekeepers.

Last week, the Government announced more sites to test GM oilseed rape with
buffer zones of up to 200metres.

A spokesman for the Environment Department insisted last night that the
programme of tests will continue.

'We are aware of the proposals and it's something we are consulting on,' he
said.

'In any case, commercial growth is a long, long way down the road in
Britain.

'It couldn't even begin to happen before 2003 when we have finished our
trials.'

The issue of separation distances came to light after seed contaminated with
GM pollen was inadvertently imported last year and planted at dozens of UK
farms.

j.chapman@dailymail.co.uk

Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Forum | Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Volunteer | Donate | About Us | Contact Us | Email This Page

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
Please Support Our Sponsors!

Organic Valley

Organic
Valley

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soaps

Botani Organic

Botani
Organic

Aloha Bay

Aloha Bay

Eden Organics

Eden Foods

Frey Vineyards

Frey
Vineyards

Intelligent Nutrients

Intelligent
Nutrients