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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 06:49 GMT 07:49 UK
Councillors asked to ban GM crops
protestors in a Dorset field
Fourteen protestors were arrested in Blandford last August
Councillors in Dorset are to hold a meeting to discuss banning genetically modified crops and declaring the county a GM-free zone.

Protesters mounted a campaign against GM crops in Dorset last summer.

The village of Hilton, near Blandford, saw fierce protests during the summer, with several people arrested after damaging fields of genetically modified oil seed rape.

Councillors have warned that even if they were to agree to ban the crops it would be difficult to enforce the policy.

Trial restrictions

Now Friends of the Earth are asking for restrictions on future trials - and a commitment from the council to block genetically modified products from school food in the county.

The county council organised a major conference in January to gauge local opinion on whether GM crops should be grown commercially in Britain.

Such was the interest in Dorset, the conference was fully booked within days of its announcement.

The councillors will discuss the GM ban on Wednesday evening.

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