Environment NEWS

Genetically modified food




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.

20 November 2001

Jury clears protest pair who cut down GM maize crop

By Thomas Penny

A jury yesterday backed the right of environmental protesters to destroy genetically modified crops in a verdict that will put pressure on the Government's policy over field trials.

17 October 2001

GM crop protesters celebrate High Court ruling

By Sandra Barwick

Campaigners against genetically modified crops hailed a "significant victory" after a High Court ruling yesterday which will make it more difficult to prosecute demonstrators who destroy experimental plantings.

16 October 2001

Campaigners win GM crop test case ruling

By John Aston, PA News

Campaigners have hailed a High Court test case ruling over the use of public order laws against people accused of damaging GM crops.

7 October 2001

Brussels tells Britain: grow more GM food

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

Brussels is mounting a campaign to increase vastly the amount of GM crops and foods grown and eaten in Britain and throughout Europe, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

10 September 2001

Advisers warn GM trials are inadequate

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Correspondent

The Government has got it wrong on genetically modified crops and must do more to satisfy public concern before allowing them to be grown commercially in Britain, ministers are told today in a hard-hitting report from their own GM advisers.

10 September 2001

'Secrecy' over GM crop trials attacked by Labour advisers

By Sandra Barwick

The way in which genetically modified crop field trials were introduced to Britain has been condemned as "secretive" and badly organised by the Government's main advisory body on biotechnology.

22 August 2001

Scottish farm trials for GM oilseed rape

Farm trials of genetically modified oilseed rape at four fields in the north of Scotland were given the go-ahead by the Scottish Executive yesterday.

31 July 2001

GM tomato may be salt-water salvation

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

The world's first artificially generated crop plant that can grow in salty water was revealed yesterday by scientists who claim it could offer hope to millions of people living on land poisoned by brackish water.

31 July 2001

Scientists create saltwater tomatoes

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

A GM tomato plant that thrives in salty water and might feed the world's population was unveiled yesterday by scientists.

26 July 2001

Diners 'enjoy' sausages from stolen GM pig

By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent

At least nine people have become the first people known to have eaten genetically modified meat after a transgenic pig stolen from a university laboratory was turned into sausages.

25 July 2001

Battle lines drawn for next phase of GM trial

By Charles Arthur Technology Editor

Thirty sites around Britain will be sown with genetically modified oilseed rape next month in the latest stage of the Government's three-year experiment to measure the effect of GM crops on the environment.

1 July 2001

University in talks with GM food firm

By Robert Mendick

Monsanto, the controversial firm that is the world's leading producer of genetically modified crops, has held meetings with a British university over potential support for its research on GM food.

30 June 2001

Company threatens to sue over pesticides disclosure

By Ben Russell Political Correspondent

A chemicals company is threatening legal action against the Government to prevent ministers disclosing details of pesticides being used in controversial GM crop trials.

30 June 2001

Government in court over GM crop data

By David Brown, Agriculture Editor

Aventis, the genetically modified crop development firm, is to ask the High Court to stop the Government passing data to environmentalists about a weedkiller.

28 June 2001

GM protesters cleared for attack on 'wrong' crop

By Terri Judd

Eleven environmental activists were acquitted yesterday of damaging genetically modified maize, after it was revealed that they attacked the "wrong" crops.

21 June 2001

GM food link to humans is ruled out

By Roger Highfield

An analysis of the human genetic code that suggested genes could be passed from bacteria or genetically modified food to people is overturned by a study published today.

4 June 2001

GM plan 'a licence to contaminate'

By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

Food containing genetically modified ingredients banned in Britain will go on sale here with a GM-free label under controversial proposals to be presented this week by the European Commission.

27 May 2001

Move to halt crop trials near organic farms

By Geoffrey Lean, environment editor

Environmentalists are taking legal advice to see if they can stop all trials of GM crops near organic farms, after one near Europe's biggest research centres for pesticide-free farming was scrapped last week.

17 May 2001

GM beans threaten farmers' meagre livelihoods

By Saeed Shah

Millions of coffee farmers in the developing world who are already struggling in a market of dwindling returns face a new threat, that of genetically modified beans.

13 May 2001

Law to save organic crops from GM fallout

By Colin Brown and Geoffrey Lean

New laws to protect organic farms from contamination by GM crops are being drawn up by the Government in the wake of last week's disclosure by The Independent on Sunday that Europe's biggest research centre for chemical-free agriculture is threatened by an official trial.

6 May 2001

Seed bank couple fear GM threat to their life's work

By Colin Brown, Political Editor

The loss of official organic status for Britain's national seed bank would be a personal tragedy for the husband-and-wife team who have devoted their life's work to building it up.

6 May 201

Trials of GM maize threaten unique organic seed cache

By Colin Brown and Geoffrey Lean

GM maize is to be grown in an officially sanctioned trial close to Europe's largest research centre for organic crops, threatening the future of organic farming in this country.

2 May 2001

Government forced to apologise for failing to consult on GM crop trials

By Ben Russell

The government was forced to apologise yesterday after a blunder over controversial plans for genetically modified crop trials.

1 May 2001

GM tomato could reduce cancer risk

By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent

A genetically modified tomato that could help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease has been created by British food scientists.

29 April 2001

MPs to examine plans for GM fish

By Severin Carrell

Government-funded programmes to develop genetically modified fish which are sterile and fast-growing are to be investigated by MPs.

13 April 2001

Scientists investigate 'contamination' of oilseed rape crops by GM material

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Government scientists are investigating possible contamination of two conventional varieties of oilseed rape by modified genes. Both varieties were undergoing field trials at research sites when scientists discovered that they contained DNA commonly used in GM plants.

8 April 2001

MPs demand truth about why £3m was spent on GM fish

By Severin Carrell

Senior politicians have demanded an investigation into the disclosure that up to £3m of public money was spent on developing genetically modified fish for human consumption in Britain.

4 April 2001

Government unveils 28 new sites for GM crop tests

By Amanda Brown

The Government has named the 28 sites which are to be used to grow genetically-modified maize in new farm trials.

1 April 2001

Whitehall funds hush-hush production of GM fish

By Severin Carrell and Geoffrey Lean

Three government ministries are financing the development of genetically modified fish for the dinner table, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

30 March 2001

Farmers dropping out of trials of GM crops

By Marie Woolf

Farmers involved in the Government's trials of genetically modified crops have begun to drop out over fears the projects could help the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

29 March 2001

Five fields chosen for GM crop trials

Five fields in northern Scotland have been chosen for farm-scale trials of genetically modified oilseed rape, the Executive announced yesterday.

12 March 2001

Greenpeace renews its opposition to GM rice

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

Greenpeace has renewed its opposition to field trials of "golden rice", a GM crop being developed to combat blindness and malnutrition in the Third World.

10 February 2001

Greenpeace promises not to halt trials of GM vitamin rice

By Steve Connor in Lyon

Greenpeace has promised not to sabotage a forthcoming trial on genetically modified (GM) rice, because of the strong moral arguments in favour of producing a staple crop that could alleviate childhood blindness.

10 February 2001

Greenpeace backs down on GM rice protests

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor, in Lyons

Greenpeace backed down from its stand against GM crops yesterday by admitting that it would not oppose field trials of "golden" rice, being developed to combat blindness in the Third World.

8 February 2001

GM super-weed fears 'unfounded'

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor

Fears GM crops will turn into super-weeds and invade the countryside are overstated, according to a 10-year study of crops that have been modified to be resistant to herbicides and insects.

4 February 2001

Monsanto beanfeast as BSE crisis bites

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor

It is an ill wind, as they say. For the BSE crisis sweeping through Europe is transforming the hitherto gloomy prospects for Monsanto, the controversial GM giant.

27 January 2001

Asda farmers banned from using GM feed

By David Brown, Agriculture Editor

Asda ordered all its suppliers of pork, chicken and eggs yesterday to stop feeding genetically modified soya to their livestock and said it would absorb the extra £6.5 million-a-year costs.

26 January 2001

Supermarket aims for GM-free produce

By Andrea Babbington

Supermarket chain Asda today announced plans to ensure that its fresh chicken, pork and eggs will soon come from animals reared on GM-free diets.

26 January 2001

Meat prices may soar in GM food row

By David Brown, Agriculture Editor

Consumers could face shortages of British meat if supermarkets insist that livestock must be fed on rations free of genetically modified ingredients, farmers' leaders said yesterday.

23 January 2001

Iceland abandons policy on organic foods

By Severin Carrell

The campaign for organic foods suffered a serious setback yesterday when the supermarket chain Iceland abandoned its six-month-old plans to sell only organic "own-brand" frozen produce, after an unexpected slump of 1.5 per cent in sales since June.

16 January 2001

GM rice 'best hope of feeding world'

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

The best hope of feeding the world lies in genetically modified crops because organic and other "sustainable" farming methods would not be able to do the job, a conference at St James's Palace was told yesterday.

15 January 2001

Monsanto to launch the first GM loaf

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

Farm trials have begun for the world's first genetically modified wheat, which means the first GM loaf of bread could be on supermarket shelves within three years.

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