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GM crop separation challenge highlighted

GM crop separation challenge highlighted
Minimum separation distances for genetically modified crops should be increased to avoid gene transfer to conventional and wild relatives of commercially grown plants, concludes a new report from the European environment agency. GM and non-GM crops will intermingle their genetic material \"at higher frequencies and at greater distances than previously thought,\" it says. There are no EU rules requiring routine separation of GM crops. No recommended distances for specific crop types are given, though oilseed rape is picked out as a particular \"high-risk\" threat. The authors predict that wild plants carrying modified genes conferring herbicide resistance will become common after the release of GM crops due to \"gene stacking\". Sugar beet and maize also represent a medium-to-high risk; licences to commercialise GM varieties of all three have already been granted or are pending. Conversely, GM wheat, potatoes and barley pose a low risk of gene transfer. The report is the first in a series responding to a European Parliament request for distillations of research results in areas of scientific complexity and uncertainty where they are asked to make policy decisions. Others are being prepared on chemical exposure and the use of \"consensus conferences\" to involve the public in scientific issues. Zdroj: ENDS
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