Page last updated at 05:52 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 06:52 UK

'No evidence' GM crops circulated

Jonathan Harrington
Jonathon Harrington has denied that he broke any laws

An investigation has found no evidence to back claims by a farmer that he passed genetically modified seeds on to neighbouring farmers.

In 2000, AMs voted to keep Wales GM-free. But farmer Jonathon Harrington disagreed with that and said he could legally grow GM crops for animal feed.

Mr Harrington from Hay-on-Wye, made the claims in January 2009, describing Wales' anti-GM stance as "daft".

An inquiry found no GM crops were circulated or fed to any stock.

The investigation was conducted by Powys Trading Standards following "numerous complaints concerning cross contamination and crops being fed to stock".

Mr Harrington of Tregoyd, said he had tried to lobby politicians about the benefits of GM crops but felt no one would listen.

"I just wanted to establish the principle that GM crops are legal in Britain and to campaign for a GM-free Wales is daft," he said.

Responding to his claims, the assembly government said while it had a restrictive GM crop policy, it could not legally ban GM crops.

However, anti-GM campaigners insisted he had broken the law by failing to register with the authorities.

Following a number of complaints, Powys County Council's trading standards service decided to investigate.

Councillor Graham Brown, who is responsible for public protection, said: "This was a serious claim which caused considerable concern in the farming community and was fully investigated by officers.

"I would like to reassure the community that we found no evidence that GM crops were circulated to any farms in the Powys area or fed to any stock in the county."

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