Environment NEWS

Genetically modified food




30 March 2003

Insects thrive on GM 'pest-killing' crops

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Genetically modified crops specially engineered to kill pests in fact nourish them, startling new research has revealed.

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13 March 2003

Report finds GM crops are good for environment

By Charles Arthur Technology Editor

Genetically-modified crops might be better for the environment than the unmodified form, allowing insects and spiders to flourish around their edges and providing more food for birds, according to new research.

12 March 2003

Ministers reject report into GM food trials

By Tom Peterkin, Scottish Political Correspondent

Scottish ministers were last night accused of "unbelievable smugness and arrogance" when they rejected a Holyrood report which claimed that tests on genetically modified crops could have put the public at risk.

17 February 2003

Meacher's attack on GM crops reveals tensions

By Nigel Morris, Political Correspondent

A damning attack by Michael Meacher, the Environment minister, on genetically modified foods was disowned by his own department yesterday.

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8 February 2003

Prince is told his GM views are 'criminal'

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

The "irrational superstitions" of the Prince of Wales should not influence the public in the debate over GM foods, says a Nobel prize-winning scientist.

6 February 2003

Scientists witness migration of GM cell material

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

A technique for producing "environmentally friendly" GM crops has been called into question by a study showing how easily alien genes can be transferred around a plant.

27 January 2003

GM cows' milk aids cheese output

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent

Scientists have created genetically modified cows whose milk makes it easier and quicker to produce cheese.

19 January 2003

GM bid to save 'infertile' bananas

By Severin Carrell and Geoffrey Lean

GM bananas are being grown in East Anglia in a government-funded bid to save the fruit from extinction.

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16 January 2003

Defenceless banana 'will be extinct in 10 years'

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

Buy your bananas now. Scientists warn today that the world's favourite fruit could be extinct within 10 years because it is unable to fight off a rampaging plague of pests and disease.

3 January 2003

Creation of GM potato to fight hunger sets India's scientists against green groups

By Charles Arthur Technology Editor

As the debate over genetically modified (GM) crops rages in the West, Indian scientists are pushing ahead with their search for a solution to hunger in the Third World.

31 December 2002

Meacher denies 'burying' GM bad news

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

Michael Meacher, the Environment minister, admitted yesterday that the publication on Christmas Eve of a crucial government study on contamination by genetically modified crops was a mistake.

29 November 2002

Bias claim over panels looking at GM crops

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

Tony Blair's public consultation on genetically modified organisms was accused of bias yesterday after it emerged that members of the GM crop industry have been appointed to two supposedly independent review panels.

26 November 2002

GM technique will improve rice yield

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

A new way to alter rice and other crops genetically to make them more tolerant of drought, salt and low temperatures, while boosting yields, is unveiled today.

10 November 2002

Zambians starve in row over GM food

By Basildon Peta in Kazungula, Zambia

Even when there is no drought to make their lives precarious, the villagers of Kazungula cannot afford radios or televisions. So when Roger Moore came to visit them, they did not see The Saint or James Bond. All they saw was a rich foreigner who might have some food for them.

10 November 2002

GM food will not ease hunger

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Britain's top aid charities have told the Prime Minister that genetically modified foods will not solve world hunger, but may actually increase poverty and malnutrition.

26 October 2002

GM approval 'will be influenced by money'

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

An environmental group attacked the Government yesterday after it emerged that ministers could take into account finance as well as science in deciding whether GM crops can be grown commercially.

19 October 2002

South Africa defies European pressure to favour GM foods

By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent

The emotional regional debate on the safety of genetically modified food aid has highlighted South Africa's stance on biotechnology, exposing a lonely but unwavering policy.

19 October 2002

Row grows over GM food aid for Africa, as 14 million starve

By Leonard Doyle, Foreign Editor

A United Nations human rights envoy has been accused of endangering efforts to save 14 million people from starvation after he questioned the safety of genetically modified food destined for southern Africa.

13 October 2002

Ministers press for end to GM ban

By Geoffrey Lean Environment Editor

British ministers will press this week for a Europe-wide go-ahead on new GM crops and foods. At two crucial meetings of EU ministers, they will push for an immediate end to a ban on approving new GM products, which has been in operation for the past four years.

18 September 2002

'Economic disaster' warning over GM crops

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

Genetically modified crops have been an "economic disaster" in America, costing £8 billion in lost profits and higher subsidies since 1999, according to a report published yesterday.

15 September 2002

Britain funds £13.4m GM programme in Third World

By Severin Carrell and Geoffrey Lean

Clare Short's overseas aid department has quietly funded a £13.4m programme to create a new generation of GM animals, crops and drugs throughout the Third World.

2 September 2002

Plans to promote GM crops defeated

By Geoffrey Lean in Johannesburg

American plans to force genetically modified crops and food on to Third World countries were unexpectedly frustrated at the Earth Summit last night.

29 August 2002

Delayed trial of GM seed 'begins soon' after checks

By Charles Arthur Technology Editor

The last phase of trials of genetically modified rape-seed – delayed when contaminated seeds were sown – is expected to go ahead soon, the company which caused the problem said yesterday.

20 August 2002

Meacher's scepticism on GM crops reflects shift in opinion, say greens

By Paul Waugh Deputy Political Editor

Green groups called on the Government to abandon farm-scale trials of genetically modified crops yesterday after the Environment minister Michael Meacher admitted he was sceptical about their usefulness.

18 August 2002

More GM crop trials break test guidelines

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Four more of the Government's troubled GM trials have gone alarmingly wrong, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

17 August 2002

Ministers seek guarantees before GM trials restart

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

Ministers warned yesterday that they would extend a freeze on the commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) crops in Britain unless biotechnology companies could guarantee their seed stocks were uncontaminated.

16 August 2002

Ministers suspend GM crop-testing

By Paul Kelbie and Marie Woolf

The Government's controversial GM crop-testing programme was thrown into disarray yesterday after it emerged that a number of fields had been contaminated with unauthorised seeds since the trials began three years ago.

9 July 2002

Green groups warn of GM pollen spread as more crop tests unveiled

By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

The location of the last round of experimental genetically modified crops to be planted in Britain were announced yesterday amid accusations that they would "spread pollen far and wide".

9 July 2002

Blair to head GM campaign

By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent

Tony Blair is to lead a three-pronged campaign to win public opinion over to the idea that genetically modified crops should be grown commercially in Britain.

6 July 2002

Eurofile: Euro-MPs blight Britain's GM harvest

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels

The struggle between the European Union and America over gene manipulation came to a head this week. The scientific and ethical clash leaves US-aligned Britain caught on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

2 July 2002

Blair orders MEPs to block strict labelling of GM foods

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

Moves to lay down Europe-wide rules on genetically modified (GM) food are expected to provoke a bitter political dispute this week when the Government urges British MEPs to block a strict new labelling regime.

19 June 2002

Trials of GM crops 'are too limited'

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent

Government field trials of GM crops were too "limited" to answer public concerns about the safety of genetically modified food, MPs said yesterday.

18 June 2002

'Fields of Gold': Science fiction

The Science Media Centre was accused of ugly tactics by The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger when it criticised his anti-GM TV drama, 'Fields of Gold'. The centre's director, Fiona Fox, was not impressed.

13 June 2002

Prince's GM fears dismissed

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

The biotechnology industry yesterday dismissed the Prince of Wales's outspoken attack on genetically modified crops as irrelevant and out of touch with existing legislation.

12 June 2002

GM crop firms should be liable for any damage done, says Prince

By Caroline Davies in Lubeck

The Prince of Wales yesterday launched his most outspoken attack yet on companies that fund research into genetically modified crops, calling for them to be made "liable" for any damage caused.

9 June 2002

Ministers prepare to sell GM to the public

By Geoffrey Lean Environment Editor

Ministers are determined to grow GM crops commercially in Britain as soon as possible and are setting out to persuade the public to accept them.

5 June 2002

GM foods plot a myth, says critic of TV show

By Tom Leonard, Media Editor

A scientific adviser on a BBC1 drama about genetically modified crops rejected its creators' claims yesterday that he was part of a multinational "conspiracy to undermine the truth."

4 June 2002

Consumer survey finds 94pc want GM foods clearly labelled

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

Nineteen out of every 20 shoppers want foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be labelled as such, according to a survey by the Consumers' Association.

3 June 2002

Critic of GM drama denies conspiracy

By Tom Leonard, Media Editor

A scientific adviser on a BBC1 drama about genetically modified crops rejected its creators' claims yesterday that he was part of a multinational "conspiracy to undermine the truth".

1 June 2002

BBC refuses to drop 'alarmist' GM drama despite protests

By Tom Leonard, Media Editor

The BBC refused to withdraw a drama about genetically modified crops yesterday despite a barrage of criticism from scientists, including the programme's scientific adviser.

31 May 2002

Adviser accuses BBC of being anti-GM in 'ridiculous' thriller

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent

The BBC was yesterday accused by one of its advisers of inflaming the hysteria surrounding genetically modified crops with factual errors and bad science.

26 May 2002

GM threat to organic farming

By Geoffrey Lean Environment Editor

Organic farming will be forced out of production in Britain and across Europe if GM crops are grown commercially, a startling new EU report concludes.

26 May 2002

Sainsbury is attacked for GM share 'profits'

By Jo Dillon Political Correspondent

Lord Sainsbury, the Science minister and a multi-million-pound donor to New Labour, has made £20m paper profit on GM food shares.

19 May 2002

GM crop protesters to be silenced

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Secret plans are being prepared to stop Britons challenging the safety of GM crops at public hearings, a confidential document seen by The Independent on Sunday reveals.

17 May 2002

Brussels tried to cover up GM report

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent

Many genetically modified crops would not be economically viable for farmers, according to a study the European Commission wanted to keep secret because it casts doubts on the commercial future of GM farming.

29 April 2002

5 charged as GM crop field is damaged

Protesters destroyed part of a field containing genetically modified crops yesterday less than 24 hours after five others were arrested on vandalism charges.

19 April 2002

'Worst ever' GM crop invasion

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor in The Hague

The world's worst case of pollution by genetically-engineered crops has taken place in southern Mexico, the gene bank for maize, one of the world's staple crops, the Mexican government said yesterday.

13 April 2002

Cabinet split over seeking GM crops view

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

The Cabinet is deeply divided over whether to consult the public before it goes ahead with the widespread planting of genetically modified crops.

8 April 2002

GM activists call for ban to protect poor farmers

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Environmentalists will press delegates at an international conference on biodiversity this week to ban a controversial form of genetic modification that deliberately sterilises crop seeds.

5 April 2002

Could GM rice feed the world?

With the production of rice failing to keep up with population growth, the mapping of the rice genome, published today, could be a historic step towards finding a solution, writes Steve Connor

19 March 2002

Farmer jailed for refusing to name GM guilty

By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent

The first GM crop protester to be jailed in Scotland was sent to prison for 21 days yesterday for refusing to name the people who helped him to damage a field of oilseed rape.

3 March 2002

The seeds of discord

Genetically modified crops are now interbreeding to produce a chemically resistant super-weed, reports Zac Goldsmith

5 February 2002

Rise of GM superweed 'a disaster for wildlife'

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

The spread of highly resistant "superweeds" in one of the world's most important bread baskets is being blamed on genetically modified crops.

5 February 2002

Fears for babies from GM milk

By Robert Uhlig, Food Correspondent

Bottle-fed babies could be undernourished if given genetically modified infant formula milk because of inadequate regulations and testing regimes for GM foods, leading scientists said yesterday.

1 February 2002

One loaf in seven has GM soya, says food agency

By Robert Uhlig, Food Correspondent

One in seven loaves, cakes, pies or pastries - including some labelled as organic - contains genetically modified Soya, according to a Government investigation.

31 January 2002

Government 'lacking credibility' on GM food, admits minister

By Paul Waugh and Marie Woolf

Michael Meacher, the Environment Minister, admitted yesterday that the Government "does not have high credibility" on genetically modified food as he confirmed plans to launch a nationwide public debate on the technology.

28 January 2002

China is leading the world in cultivation of GM crops

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

While the fate of GM crops remains contentious in Britain and many other parts of the world, China is going ahead with the technology and plans to export it.

19 January 2002

New GM crop trials to start in 50 fields

By Dan Gledhill

More than 50 new fields of genetically modified crops are to be planted around the country this spring in an extension of the Government's controversial trials.

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