GM trial results reverberate

The UK's farm scale evaluations are shaking things up in Europe

Philip Hunter(phunter@philiphunter.com)
Nov 16, 2003

The results of the world's largest study of genetically modified (GM) crops' impact on biodiversity, completed last month in the United Kingdom, were mixed and limited. But the huge scale of the project is ensuring that the results are being carefully digested across the whole of Europe.

The mixed results, with GM oilseed rape and sugar beet faring badly while maize appeared to have beneficial results for the environment, have provided ammunition for proponents and opponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) contacted by The Scientist. “People in favor of GMOs say the results mean we should analyze all crops case by case,” says Daniel Evain, a French farmer and keen observer of the GMO debate as a former agronomist with Monsanto, a food biotechnology company.

This line also has a significant number of advocates in Germany, according to Hartmut Meyer, coordinator for the European NGO-Network on Genetic Engineering...

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