GM ban in Wales will safe­guard ‘green’ ethic

North Wales Weekly News - - WRITTEN BY YOU -

WALES is to take ad­van­tage of new EU rules that al­low mem­ber states to opt out of grow­ing EU-au­tho­rised GM crops.

Deputy farm­ing min­is­ter Re­becca Evans said she wants to pro­tect or­ganic farm­ing and safe­guard Wales’ “clean, green, nat­u­ral” brand val­ues.

The ban would pre­vent Welsh farm­ers from grow­ing Mon­santo’s EU-ap­proved GM maize va­ri­ety MON 810, which is cur­rently grown in Spain and Por­tu­gal. She is also re­quest­ing that Wales opts out of grow­ing seven other GM maize va­ri­eties that are cur­rently await­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tion. It means Wales will join the two-thirds of EU mem­ber states that have opted out of GM cul­ti­va­tion.

Ms Evans said Wales would adopt a “pre­cau­tion­ary ap­proach” to GM crops that would of­fer “no real ben­e­fit to Welsh farm­ers at this time”.

“It will al­low us to pro­tect the sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment we have made in our or­ganic sec­tor and safe­guard the agri­cul­tural land in Wales that is man­aged un­der vol­un­tary agri-en­vi­ron­ment schemes,” she added.

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