Rebecca Evans announces restrictions to GM crop cultivation in Wales
5 Oct 2015 10:43 AM
Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans has announced she intends to take advantage of new EU rules allowing countries to opt out of growing EU-authorised GM crops.
The Minister said she is requesting that the EU excludes Wales from the European consent of a GM maize variety already approved and seven other GM crops currently awaiting authorisation.
The Minister said:
“These new rules proposed by the European Commission provide Wales with the necessary tools to maintain our cautionary approach by allowing us to control the future cultivation of GM crops in Wales. 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.
“Farming and food processing businesses remain the driving force of our rural economy. Our emphasis is on competing on quality, strong branding and adding value through local processing. We, therefore, need to preserve consumer confidence and maintain our focus on a clean, green, natural environment. By having the ability to control what is grown in Wales we can have confidence in preserving these values. I have therefore acted now to ban the eight GM varieties from being grown in Wales that are either approved or about to be approved for cultivation in the EU.
“These crops have not been developed for Welsh growing conditions and would be of no real benefit to Welsh farmers at this time. I will of course keep this position under review and am keeping an open mind on future GM developments and more advanced genetic techniques.”