Scientists say GM crop trial locations should be kept secret

Scientists have called for the location of small-scale GM crop trials to be kept a secret to stop protesters from ruining their experiments.

They called a conference in London last week to draw to attention to the fact that, during the past five years, vandals have destroyed almost every GM crop trial in Britain - even though GM technology could help feed the planet in the future.

Professor Howard Atkinson of the University of Leeds said the UK should follow the example set by Canada, where small-scale trials are kept under wraps.

He said: "We should follow the same approach as that followed in Canada for very small-scale trials of say 400 plants or so - where the risks are looked at by a panel but the location of those sites is not revealed. The other possibility is to identify some national testing centre or centres where such trials could be run securely without the risk of zealots destroying them."

Protesters are able to find the sites in the UK because their location is publicly available under EU legislation - brought in to allow farmers and growers to know what was being grown near them.


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