GM Pollen contamination

Advanta, the company at the centre of the recent seed contamination scandal told a committee of UK MPs [1] that the separation distances between its conventional oil seed rape crops in Canada and genetically modified crops was 4000 metres – 80 times the separation distances used in the UK.

In a press release issued at the time the Government said that the crops ‘appear to have been affected by growing too close to GM rapeseed‘.This calls for the Government to halt outdoor testing of genetically modified (GM) crops.
The UK Government last year endorsed a voluntary Code of Practice with the biotech industry whereby the separation distances are only 50 metres between conventional and GM crops (200 metres for seed production).

The industry is currently looking for sites to grow GM winter oilseed rape as part of the Government’s farm-scale trial programme. The first site has already been announced in Lincolnshire (Thorganby TF 207 968).


[1] House of Commons Agriculture Select Committee hearing into the seed contamination incident (18 July 2000).

Food and Biotechnology Campaign
Friends of the Earth
Tel 0113 242 8153