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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 11:31 GMT
GM exclusion zone approved
GM Crops
Some environmentalists have protested against GM crops
South Gloucestershire has become the first major local authority in the country to become a GM-free zone.

The motion was approved by the majority of the local council after seven hours of discussion on Wednesday.

The aim was to protect the health of local people and the environment, and to support and promote a viable food economy, say the council.

The local Friends of the Earth spokesman, Tony Harding, said he was delighted by the outcome.

Immediate effect

He said: "I am firstly amazed at the stamina and perseverance of councillors.

"I was worn out simply observing the meeting - heaven knows what it must have been like taking part."

The council motion recognises

  • that genetic modification of plant crops is an evolving science

  • that there is continuing public and scientific debate and disquiet about the desirability and the safety of genetically modified food

  • that having accommodated one field trial that caused more concerns than it resolved, the council declares that South Gloucestershire shall become a GM-free zone with immediate effect.

    Meacher attacks GM crops
    18 Feb 03 |  Politics
    Special report: Food under the microscope
    18 May 99 |  Food under the microscope

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