GM crops to be allowed into Britain under controversial EU plans

UK to back imports of animal feed with traces of GM crops in move to benefit US exporters

Image: Martin Argles/Observer

Jamie Doward
Guardian

Genetically modified crops will be allowed to enter the UK food chain without the need for regulatory clearance for the first time under controversial plans expected to be approved this week.

The Observer understands that the UK intends to back EU plans permitting the importing of animal feed containing traces of unauthorised GM crops in a move that has alarmed environmental groups.

Importing animal feed containing GM feed must at present be authorised by European regulators. But a vote on Tuesday in favour of the scheme put forward by the EU’s standing committee on the food chain and animal health would overturn the EU’s “zero tolerance” policy towards the import of unauthorised GM crops.

The move would mark a significant victory for the GM lobby, which has pushed for a relaxation of the blanket ban for years.Environmental groups claim the GM industry wants to use the presence of unauthorised organisms in animal feed as part of a wider strategy to promote its technology.

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