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CEL Press Release
6 June 2000

" Dig up all remaining accidentally planted GM-contaminated crops before they pollinate".

CEL backs English Nature's call

Christian Ecology Link (CEL), Britain's leading Church-based environmental Organisation, today backed the call by English Nature for all remaining crops of genetically modified oil seed rape to be destroyed by the Farmers who accidentally planted them.

Brian Johnson of English Nature said "These crops, planted mainly in Scotland and the North of England, have not flowered yet, and may not do so until mid-June, owing to the cool, wet weather this year. Most farmers have already ploughed up the fields containing these crops, and thus destroyed them, but a minority still have not. If necessary, they could be sprayed with paraquat. English Nature adopted its policy on this matter after consulting a wide range of other Statutory bodies, and acting on their behalf'.

George Dent, Deputy Chairman of CEL said "The Church Commissioners recently decided not to allow the deliberate introduction of GM crops on Church lands on the grounds of 'good neighbourliness'. They will have no choice, if this contamination is allowed to spread. It's a stark comment on the seriousness of the threat posed to the environment that environmentalists are now recommending the use of such a widely destructive pesticide as a lesser evil.

It has been reported that the Company who supplied the seeds has agreed to offer farmers compensation for their loss. MAFF has extended, until the l5th of June, the deadline for farmers to re-sow with uncontaminated seed, and still qualify for payment under the arable area payments scheme.

ENDS: 6.6.2000

Contact: George Dent - tel 01524 36241

Brian Johnson - tel 01823 283211


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