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Environment correspondent Louise Batchelor
"Protesters are already angry about the first farm-scale trial"
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Thursday, 20 July, 2000, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
New GM trial proposed
GM protest
Protestors demonstrated outside the farm
A second farm-scale trial of genetically modified crops is being planned for the north-east of Scotland.

The experiment has been revealed by the Department of the Environment on its website as one of only two new trials across the UK.

The notice gives a six-figure map reference and says the nearest village is Daviot, in Aberdeenshire, which is near the only other GM trial in Scotland.

In their present form, farm-scale trials of oil seed rape present an unacceptable threat to the environment

Friends of the Earth Scotland
The second trial, to begin this autumn, also involves oil seed rape.

Friends of the Earth Scotland director, Kevin Dunion, said: "Once again, Scotland's environment is being targeted for use as an open-air laboratory.

"In their present form, farm-scale trials of oil seed rape present an unacceptable threat to the environment.

"Worse still, this trial will use a chemical otherwise banned for use during the winter because of the threat it poses to the environment."

But a Scottish Executive spokesman said: "A decision on whether to give consent for the application to proceed will be made shortly by Scottish ministers, based on sound scientific advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment."

Crops attacked

European legislation gave the executive the power to withdraw consent at any time if evidence emerged of a threat to public health or the environment, he added.

Last weekend, about 35 environmentalists staged a protest outside the farm near Daviot where the current trial is being held.

There have been three attacks on the crops in the space of a week.

Six people were arrested after the most recent incident and appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court this week.

Rural Affairs Minister Ross Finnie has rejected calls for the trials to be abandoned.

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See also:

15 Jul 00 | Scotland
March against GM crops
10 Jul 00 | Scotland
Second attack on GM crops
05 Jul 00 | Scotland
GM seeds compensation agreed
20 Jun 00 | Scotland
Flaw discovered in GM crop trial
09 Jun 00 | Scotland
'No harm' from GM crops
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