Can you say, “Not in my backyard” with a British accent? That was the message villagers in southeastern England sent to the national government this week over a planned test site for genetically modified (GM) crops. In March, Environment Minister Michael Meacher announced that the government would test GM crops in Weeley Parish, Essex County, as part of the final year of government trials to determine the environmental impact of such crops. The people of Weeley were less than thrilled about the plan; in a poll organized by the parish council, 95 percent of voters voiced their opposition to the test site. The poll reflects the general public sentiment toward GM crops in England, which has recently suffered a spate of food-safety scares and is wary of the possible environmental and human health effects of genetically altered crops.

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