GMO news related to United Kingdom

21.06.2013 |

Scotland and Wales remain opposed to GM crops

DEFRA Secretary Owen Paterson’s views on genetically modified crops could set Westminster against the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

Both administrations are opposed to the technology and have taken steps to prevent it being grown in their countries.

16.04.2013 |

Rothamsted Research submits application to Defra to plant autumn-sown wheat as part of its GM field trial

Rothamsted Research has submitted an application to Defra to extend its current GM wheat field trial to include additional autumn-sown cadenza wheat. Rothamsted scientists believe it would be advantageous to gain further data from their experiment, in wheat planted at a different time of year and under different weather conditions with different aphid populations. This will give us additional data under a more diverse range of environmental conditions.

11.04.2013 |

Tesco drops 11-year ban on eggs from chickens fed on GM soya diet as it blames farmers and suppliers for the decision

The next time you buy chicken or eggs from Tesco, they may come from birds fed genetically modified soya. The supermarket chain yesterday abandoned its 11-year commitment not to sell poultry reared on the controversial GM feed. The original controls were put in place to reflect the concerns of shoppers, who question the impact of GM crops on human health and the countryside.

13.03.2013 |

UK set for GM food push in Europe

Britain is preparing to champion genetically modified crops in Europe in an attempt to overturn entrenched resistance among many EU members, including Austria and France. Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, is drawing up plans for a key speech backing GM with the firm backing of George Osborne, the chancellor. Meanwhile, ministers from several departments are preparing to launch a new agri-tech strategy this spring that will make a strong case for the science.

10.01.2013 |

Two-thirds of British consumers say GM food labelling is important

Two-thirds of the British public say it is “important” that genetically modified ingredients are labelled on food, according to a survey published on Wednesday by the government’s Food Standards Agency, despite only a tiny number saying they look for GM information on labels. The findings, drawn from interviews with 1,467 people for a report by the food watchdog on GM labelling, will be a “major blow” to the government’s bid to win public acceptance for GM crops and food, anti-GM campaigners said. The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, last week told a farming conference: “we should not be afraid of making the case to the public about the potential benefits of GM.”

04.01.2013 |

UK government’s enthusiasm for GM not matched in developing nations

After years of encouraging developing countries in Africa and elsewhere to grow them, but unable to allow its own farmers to do so, the environment secretary Owen Paterson has told a major conference that GM can secure countries’ food supplies, is good for the public and can help limit climate change. [...] But despite billions of dollars spent on research by rich countries on feeding hungry people, most developing countries remain suspicious of the claims, or convinced that the benefits will go mainly to the corporations that control the seeds and chemicals needed to grow the crops. What is remarkable is not that GM crops have, after 20 years and so much money spent, now reached 19 out of more than 150 developing countries, but that most nations have managed to keep out a rapacious industry, and that only a handful of GM food commodity crops like oilseed rape, soya and maize are still grown, mainly for animals and biofuels.

20.12.2012 |

British GM wheat trials to go ahead next year

Scientists will go ahead with plans to plant genetically modified crops in the UK next year, despite vandalism during the summer. The Rothamsted Research institute are planning to plant GM wheat in fields in Hertfordshire. Protests were held at the site last year and an intruder was charged with criminal damage after allegedly scaling the fence and sprinkling natural wheat. But a spokesman for the institute insisted the experiment will continue. The scientists are trying to create the world’s first GM strain to repel insects rather than killing them.

06.11.2012 |

Hype and doubts about “medicinal” GM tomato

Claims about drug carrying genetically engineered tomatoes should be treated cautiously. Researchers fed the GM tomatoes to mice as a small part of a Western-style high-fat, calorie-packed diet. The study has not been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal but its findings are being promoted as a way to “reduce global epidemic of heart disease”. [...] according to the Daily Mail; “Researchers hope to mass produce the GM tomato so it can be eaten around the world”. Dr Fogelman is no stranger to cashing in on his research. Some years ago his private company (presumably something he runs during the evenings and days off from his University job) secured a $200 million dollar deal with Novartis for another application of peptides.

31.07.2012 |

UK GE wheat trials: The Rothamsted GM debate

After nearly a decade during which the UK has been substantially GM-free, the government has subsidised Rothamsted, the agricultural research station, to conduct an open-air trial of a GM wheat transgenically engineered to repel aphids. In early May, Rothamsted invited protesters planning to demonstrate against the trial to a public dialogue. The Land responded to Rothamsted proposing a debate by email, the first part of which is published here. The six questions we put to Rothamsted focus mainly on the ethics and wisdom of breaking a de facto moratorium on GM in the UK (and most of Europe), rather than on technical aspects of this particular experiment.

29.05.2012 |

Anti-GM protesters kept from tearing up wheat crop by police

Police kept hundreds of protesters at bay as they attempted to destroy a field where genetically modified wheat is being tested in Hertfordshire. Mounted officers helped bring activists to a halt in front of the entrance to land owned by the Rothamsted research institute [...] Hertfordshire police handed out leaflets at Harpenden station warning that St Albans council had forbidden “trespassory assembly” under section 14A of the Public Order Act as anti-GM campaigners gathered in a park next to the estate.