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Old 04-25-2007, 04:44 PM   #114
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Default GM crop failure a warning, says US adviser

GM crop failure a warning, says US adviser

GM crop failure a warning, says US adviser

A former agricultural adviser to US presidents says the failure of a genetically modified field pea trial should act as a warning for future GM crop testing.

The 10-year CSIRO trial was abandoned when tests found the peas were making mice seriously ill.

Dr Charles Benbrook, who advised presidents Carter, Bush senior, Reagan and Clinton says the field pea trial failure shows current GM crop testing is grossly inadequate.

"I don't believe that this new study proves that all genetically engineered food is posing a great threat to people but it certainly confirms the need to go back and look at the major food crops," he said.

He has called for changes to the Gene Technology Act, which is currently under review, to tighten GM crop regulation and increase scientific scrutiny of potential commercial varieties.

But the Grains Council's David Ginns says the failed field pea trial was an isolated case, and the fact health concerns were discovered shows current monitoring is adequate.

"It picked up a problem early and the project was terminated on the basis that there were concerns raised in the trial."
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