Home » Biotechnology »News »Science Media » Currently Reading:

Welsh Farmer’s Defiance of GMO ‘Ban’ Not So Defiant After All

October 7, 2009 Biotechnology, News, Science Media No Comments

Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson

An investigation by Welsh trading standards officers into the claims of a farmer to have contravened Welsh GMO-Free status has concluded there was no evidence that he grew GMO maize.

Jonathon Harrington created global headlines in January of this year when he claimed to have grown GMO maize on his farm in Powys, Wales, as a protest against the Welsh Assembly’s opposition to GM crops. His story was widely reported after he claimed to have grown two varieties of maize and used them to make silage, some of which he supplied to neighbours.

However, information obtained under freedom of information legislation by the campaigning group GM Free Cymru shows that Powys County Council investigated these claims under trading standards regulations. These require labeling and traceability records to be maintained as well as registration as a seed trader. According to the information obtained by GM Free Cymru, however, Harrington is not registered and kept no written records.

According to the County Council report Harrington “….had received a quantity of 50 seeds of two varieties of GM maize which he had used to grow crops on his holding for his own interest as a biologist, and that the crops were destroyed on his holding following harvesting. It is impossible to prove or disprove these claims. Samples of seed supplied to the Trading Standards Service by Harrington were analysed by a Public Analyst and found not to be GM modified seed.”

In a letter to GM Free Cymru, Mr Lee Evans of Powys CC said: “I can confirm that during the course of the investigation, (we found) no evidence that GM crops were grown, cultivated, circulated to any farms in the Powys area or fed to any stock in the county.”

Harrington is a member of Cropgen, a lobby group funded by the biotechnology industry.

Comment on this Article:

Science News on the Web

Why Independent Science News?

Scientific inventions and ideas shape the future. As science becomes ever more beset by commercial and ideological pressures, there is urgent need for scientific reporting and analysis from an independent, expert, public interest perspective. With this standard, Independent Science News works to shape a future that is biodiverse, just, and healthy for everyone.
More about us...

Sign up to our mailing list

E-mail address:
Name (optional):

Related News Articles

How “Extreme Levels” of Roundup in Food Became the Industry Norm

Can the Scientific Reputation of Pamela Ronald, Public Face of GMOs, Be Salvaged?

No Scientific Consensus on Safety of Genetically Modified Organisms

The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt

New Report Links Food, Climate and Agricultural Policies

Psychiatrists plead to continue funding of genetic approaches to disease

23andMe disproves its own business model

How Agriculture Can Provide Food Security Without Destroying Biodiversity

Commentaries

Edward Snowden’s Testimony to the European Parliament on NSA Spying and its Consequences

Edward Snowden Barton Gellman/Getty Images

Independent Science News has decided to reprint (1) in full the March 7th testimony of Edward Snowden to the European Parliament. Snowden’s testimony is vitally important for every citizen in every country to understand, yet it has barely been covered by the commercial or (non-commercial) global media. At stake is the …

The Health Care Doctors Forgot: Why Ordinary Food Will Be the Future of Medicine

Apple and a Pear

by T Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus, Cornell University The problem Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve …

Fakethrough! GMOs and the Capitulation of Science Journalism

Biotechnology

by Jonathan Latham, PhD Good journalism examines its sources critically, it takes nothing at face value, places its topics in a historical context, and it values above all the public interest. Such journalism is, most people agree, essential to any equitable and open system of government. These statements about journalism …

The Founding Fables of Industrialised Agriculture

Farming in Italy

by Colin Tudge Governments these days are not content with agriculture that merely provides good food. In line with the dogma of neoliberalism they want it to contribute as much wealth as any other industry towards the grand goal of “economic growth”. High tech offers to reconcile the two ambitions …

More Commentaries...

Reviews

Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA

Biology as Ideology

Author: by Richard Lewontin ISBN: 0140232192 Publisher: Penguin books (1991) Biologists know that complex traits are typically associated with genetic variation between individuals. Nevertheless, if we hear on the news that obesity, antisocial behaviour or some other disorder has a strong genetic component, we are likely to attach special significance …

The Unsettling of America

The Unsettling of America

Author: Wendell Berry ISBN: 0871568772 Publisher: Sierra Club books (1977) In 2002, peasant associations from all over Asia organised an international scientific conference. The motivation for the conference was the fact that peasants and their leaders had no dialogue with agricultural scientists, either from their own countries or with those …

More Reviews...