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UK GM wheat trial gets go-ahead

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The UK government gave the final go-ahead for a new experimental crop of genetically modified (GM) wheat. The planting will take place this spring.

According to the British online service GM Watch the trial of this GM wheat threatens the UK wheat crop with contamination. GM wheat grown only in trials in the US has escaped repeatedly. GM Watch says in its comment: “It is therefore mind-boggling as to why the genetic engineers at Rothamsted Research think it’s a good idea to genetically engineer wheat to use sunlight more efficiently and give higher yields. The last thing the world and farmers need is yet more wheat.”

The Scientist of Rothamsted Research submitted an application to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to get the permission for a field trials between 2017 and 2019. According to a report by World Breaking News online the researchers say they want to test newly developed wheat plants that have been modified to carry a gene from a wild relative called stiff brome.

As BBC reports a concern of GM critical organizations is that the go-ahead for the “super yield wheat” is a signal for the different approach to GM after Brexit. Farming minister George Eustice indicated that the government was open to re-examining the position after the UK leaves the EU.


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