BBC News / via AgBioView
August 11, 2009
A farmer who claimed to have grown genetically modified (GM) crops says he is "delighted" an inquiry has found no evidence they affected other farms. Jonathon Harrington, who farms near Hay-on-Wye, Powys, said in January he grew two varieties of maize and passed the seeds on to two other farmers.
Mr Harrington, of Tregoyd, said he was delighted the inquiry had found he had not breached regulations.
Powys council said there was no evidence that GM crops were circulated. By growing the maize, Mr Harrington defied a Welsh Assembly Government vote to keep Wales free from GM crops.
Following comments made by Mr Harrington on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in January, the Welsh Assembly Government said it could not legally ban GM crops, but had a restrictive GM crop policy.
He denied breaking any laws, but anti-GM campaigners said he had done so by failing to register with the authorities. Mr Harrington said: "I am, of course, delighted that, following a rigorous and searching investigation, Powys trading standards acknowledge that my decision to grow GM forage on my own land in Tregoyd committed no breach of regulations and that I therefore have no case to answer.
"Some 85% of animal feeds in Wales contain GM raw materials and there is also some in foods for human consumption." Last week, Powys council’s trading standards service said it had investigated claims that Mr Harrington had passed GM crops onto other farmers to use as animal feed, but had found no evidence they had been circulated to other farms.