More GM trials to take place at Rothamsted

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Despite protests last year at its facility against trials of genetically modified wheat, Rothamsted Research announced it would conduct more GM trials over the next five years.

Although there are many opposed to the technology in the United Kingdom and Europe, the scientists are going to continue to develop new GM products in the UK.

Rothamsted is working on developing a GM omega-3 oilseed rape variety that could replace wild fish in food for farmed salmon.

“[GM crops are a] potentially enormous market and could solve a big environmental problem with fish oils and the availability of wild fish,” Professor Maurice Moloney, director of Rothamsted Research, told the Farmers Guardian. “We see that as something that has to move forward and the only way is field trials.”

Moloney said he would announce future GM trials over the next five years. Some of the planned trials include crops with traits added to offer economic benefits to farmers and to improve the final product.

Moloney’s remarks were made at the Oxford Farming Conference where Mark Lynas gained attention for apologizing over his campaign against GM crops.

Last year, anti-GM activists protested against Rothamsted’s GM wheat trial that was being conducted. The GM wheat variety was designed to emit an odor that would repel aphids. The activists did not make it onto the facility’s grounds and destroy any trials, which the group had threatened to do regardless if they were GM crops or not.

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