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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 08:27 GMT
'Go it alone' call over GM ban
GM crop
Friends of the Earth say GM crops can be kept out
The Assembly will come under further pressure to go it alone and ban Genetically Modified crops.

Friends of the Earth will circulate legal advice which it says shows that can be done without risking a successful legal challenge.

In a seven-page opinion to Friends of the Earth leading barrister Michael Fordham said the Assembly could adopt a general policy of not allowing GM crops if it could not be sure the crop would not harm human health or the environment.

But it had to be prepared to consider representations to the contrary, he added.

Christine Gwyther AM
Christine Gwyther wants to see a GM-free Wales
That conflicts with official legal advice to Agriculture Secretary Christine Gwyther.

She has said she favours a GM-free Wales but that a general policy could be challenged in court.

At the end of the month, the Agriculture Committee is due to consider whether to urge her to veto approval of GM maize.

She has yet to respond to FoE's advice, but the Liberal Democrats have echoed their call for the Assembly to take the lead.

The Agriculture Committee had been due to discuss what advice to give Ms Gwyther over the listing of GM maize.

But it has now postponed the discussion until 29 March.

It is awaiting further legal and scientific advice which will not be available until after 15 March.

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See also:

28 Feb 00 |  Wales
Wales to vote on GM crops
28 Feb 00 |  Scotland
GM food on conference menu
06 Sep 99 |  Sci/Tech
Charity warns against GM seeds
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