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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
GM crop trial sites announced
Greenpeace environmental protesters
Protesters have ripped up some GM crop trials
The UK Government has announced the 18 sites in England and Scotland to be used for the last of three years of farm trials of genetically modified oilseed rape.

Three of the field-scale trials will be held in East Yorkshire, two in Kent, and two in Lincolnshire.

The others will take place in Durham, Sunderland, Shropshire, Warrington, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Aberdeenshire and Fife.

Depending on weather and soil conditions, sowing of the crops is expected to begin on 19 August, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The trials were designed to detect unacceptable effects on the environment, Defra said in a statement.

"All the seeds have been through years of rigorous safety tests," it said. And the crops will be separated from other produce to minimise any risk of cross-pollination.

But even if the results of the trials - due next summer - are successful, ministers may not approve the technology despite previously insisting the decision would be based on science alone.

Concerns surrounding GM technology centre on the impact on the environment, wildlife and human health.

The government has asked the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC), the independent UK advisory body on the issue, to organise a public debate on attitudes to genetic modification.

The sites, selected from an initial pool submitted by the Supply Chain Initiative on Modified Agricultural Crops (Scimac) and agreed by farmers, are:

  • Kilpin, East Yorkshire
  • Nunburnholme, East Yorkshire
  • Harpham, East Yorkshire
  • High Halden, Kent
  • Ivychurch, Kent
  • Thorganby, Lincolnshire
  • Ludford, East Wykeham and Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire
  • Oakenshaw, Durham
  • Near Burdon, Sunderland
  • Hordley, Shropshire
  • Lymm, Warrington
  • Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
  • Hinton Waldrist, Oxfordshire
  • Bincombe, Dorset
  • Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire
  • Great Moulton, Norfolk
  • Newport-on-Tay, Fife
  • Daviot, Aberdeenshire
See also:

31 Jan 02 | UK Politics
31 Jan 02 | UK
30 Jan 02 | UK Politics
08 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
07 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
28 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
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