"There is no requirement in the EU legislation about public consent. I continue to believe that this is a serious problem," Michael Meacher, UK Environment Minister
"There is strong opposition to these trials at both local and national level," Richard Edwards, Welsh Assembly Member
Fears for birds as cash runs out for GM
May 1, 2001 2:57pm
The Express, April 30, 2001
GM crop trials were branded a farce last night after a key element was dropped by the Government.
The GBP3.3million trials will no longer look at the effect on farmland birds.
The British Trust for Ornithology has not been rehired to monitor bird populations on GM and conventional crops for the remaining two years of the programme.
The trust carried out a pilot study but said the Department of the Environment told it that research money had run out. Environmentalists have argued that farmland birds may be particularly vulnerable to wholesale planting of GM crops. Birds have declined in huge numbers in the face of intensive use of herbicides and pesticides.
Trust director Dr Jeremy Greenwood said: The BTO is not doing work this year on the GM trials because funding was not available from the department.
Friends of the Earth accused the Government of devaluing the trials which are supposed to help settle whether or not GM crops can be grown commercially in Britain.