APR 01] RYTON ORGANIC GARDENS NEWS
Ryton Faces GM Threat
leading organic centre at Ryton is under threat after trials of
genetically modified maize have been announced just 3 miles
giant Aventis have been granted permission to plant GM maize at
a farm in Wolston under the Government's Farm Scale Evaluation (FSE)
Gear, Ryton's Chief Executive, has accused the Government and
Aventis of taking a "cavalier approach" to the trials.
Gardens as well as being a showcase for organic growing,
produces produce for sale in its shop and restaurant. It also
conducts organic trials for the Ministry of Agriculture.
the rules of the Soil Association any GM trials within 6 miles
can put the status of an organic producer at risk.
although aware of the proximity of Ryton Gardens claim there is
"no risk at all" from cross pollination between the GM
crops and the organic crops.
Gardens are particularly concerned because they grow organic
sweetcorn that could potentially cross pollinate with the GM
maize, and they also have five colonies of bees that will forage
over a range of several miles.
trial planting of the GM maize is to take place at a farm on the
Fosse Way at grid reference SP 427 759. Depending on weather and
soil conditions, the maize will be sown from the end of April
Government press release announcing these latest trials says:
FSEs are not about the safety of GM technology. They are
designed to provide answers to questions about whether
planting herbicide-tolerant GM crops and using weedkillers
associated with them might affect the abundance and diversity
of our wildlife."
Aventis did not
consult with Ryton Gardens before making its application for the
The DETR have
also announced that another site in Warwickshire will be used
for trials of genetically modified oilseed rape. That will be at
Atherstone on Stour (grid ref SP 230 519).