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Sunday, August 15, 1999 Published at 18:36 GMT 19:36 UK


Government rejects GM secrecy

GM food is a hugely controversial issue

The government is preparing to name four sites where farm-scale trials of genetically modified crops will start in the autumn.

The exact whereabouts of the sites are being made public on the Environment Agency's Website on Monday.

Ministers have rejected calls from the GM industry to hold the trials at secret locations following recent attacks on fields planted with GM crops.

The areas chosen for the tests are Market Rasen and Glentham in Lincolnshire, Bingham, Nottinghamshire, and Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Series of arrests

Each 10-hectare site will be planted with GM oilseed rape, and the surrounding environment monitored to see if there are any changes as a result of the GM crop.

The government has said it has no intention of upgrading security at the trial sites, but the situation will be reviewed if there are any attempts to destroy the crops.

A series of arrests were made recently after environmental protestors destroyed crops at GM testing areas.

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