Blair Backing Off Plans to Introduce GM Crops in UK

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is dramatically scaling back his plans to open UK farms up to widespread planting of genetically modified crops. The Blair government had been expected next month to announce blanket approval for GM plantings, but faced with unwavering public opposition to GM foods, and weakened by scandals surrounding the Iraq war, the government has backed off and now likely won’t make any announcement until at least early next year. Even then, Blair could have trouble pushing through more modest plans for a limited and closely regulated introduction of GM crops. The case for GM agriculture was hurt by two U.K. government reports released last month, one which found that growing GM crops would provide no immediate benefit to citizens or the economy, and a second which concluded that it would be impossible to grow some GM crops without contaminating organic produce.