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Thursday, July 22, 1999 Published at 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK

Special Report

Charles walks into new GM debate

Prince Charles to visit GM crop ban campaigners

Prince Charles is visiting Wales's premier agricultural event, the Royal Welsh Show, on the day that a fresh debate is opened into GM foods.

Following research in supermarkets throughout Wales, the Welsh Consumer Council has concluded that organic food is too expensive and in too short supply.

Wyre Davies says: "The Welsh Assembly is to be asked to ban GM crops"
The theme will run strongly through the first day of the prince's three-day tour in Wales. As one of the most prominent supporters of organic food, he will begin his visit to to Wales's biggest agricultural event by meeting with opponents of genetically modified crops.

[ image: Fourth and final day of Wales's largest farming event]
Fourth and final day of Wales's largest farming event
He is expected to visit a pavilion in the showground at Builth Wells, mid-Wales, where critics are launching a campaign to ban GM crops in Wales.

Senior members of all the main Welsh political parties are backing calls by Friends of the Earth Cymru to ban any further release of GM crops.

FoE Cymru says the National Assembly for Wales would show a commitment to the environment and promote a good image for Welsh agriculture by banning GM crops.

Call for Assembly action

BBC Wales's Sally Davies on how the best known organic farmer is expected to add his voice to the call for more organic food
Gordon James of FoE Cymru said: "We are pleased that so many prominent people in Wales have willingly supported our statement calling on the assembly to take action on the issue."

[ image: Customers think organic food is too dear]
Customers think organic food is too dear
Aside from the issue of organic food, the Prince of Wales will meet with Royal Welsh Agriculture Society President Hugh Thomas and view final judging and presentation of prizes in the Native Beef Breeds Championships.

He will then present the Queen's Cup to the exhibitor of the Champion Welsh Mountain Sheep.

Rural regeneration visit

Food under the microscope
On leaving the show - at the close of its fourth and final day - he will go on to to visit Llanbadarn Fynydd, a hill-farming community near Newtown, mid Wales, which is becoming well known for its enterprising approach to rural regeneration

He will visit the village shop, filling station and post office, which have been bought and run by the community.

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Internet Links

Welsh Consumer Council

National Assembly for Wales

Royal Welsh Show

Prince of Wales on GM foods

Friends of the Earth Cymru

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