UK Report: GM Hurts Wildlife

Study - Modified Crops Threat to Wildlife

LONDON (UPI) -- A British study has shown genetically modified plants pose more of a threat to wildlife than conventional plants, the Financial Times reported.

The results, published by the Royal Society, are vital for helping ministers in Britain and other European countries in deciding whether to lift their ban on the crops and approve the commercialization of GM technology despite consumer opposition.

Scientists said some insect groups, such as bees in beet crops and butterflies in beet and canola, were recorded more frequently in and around conventional crops because there were more weeds to provide food and cover.

The study also found more weeds in and around the GM herbicide-tolerant corn crops, more butterflies and bees around at certain times of the year, and more weed seeds -- an important source of food for birds.

Meanwhile, the London Guardian reported Monsanto, the world's largest GM seed company, is pulling out of the European cereal business in a surprise move that raised hopes of victory among anti-GM campaigners.

The decision follows the failure to introduce genetically modified hybrid wheat to Europe, and the company has decided to cut costs.

UPI, 10/20/03

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