GM crops may be given go-ahead

Press Association Monday May 19, 2003 8:48 AM

Licences for growing genetically-modified crops in Britain may be approved despite public opposition, the Government has indicated.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher said that refusing a licence for the GM crops might not be an option under European Union legislation.

A public consultation exercise on GM crops is due to begin in a fortnight's time.

Although trials have not come up with evidence that the crops are harmful, opinion polls suggest that fewer than 15% support GM.

"We have to act in accordance with the law," Mr Meacher told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme.

"And the law at the present moment is set down in the EU directive, and the key and sole criteria for taking action in regard to GM crops is: are they a harm, a risk to health or the environment?"

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