Major British Study Pans GM Crops as Harmful to Wildlife

Bad news just keeps on coming for British backers of genetically modified foods, a group whose most high-profile member is Prime Minister Tony Blair. The latest: A three-year government investigation billed as the world’s largest study of the environmental effects of GM crops has found that birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife in farm areas are harmed much more by the strong herbicides used with GM crops than by the weedkillers used in conventional farming. This could throw a wrench into British government plans to authorize the planting of GM crops in the country, and it’s likely to bolster support for a Europe-wide GM ban. Also this week, biotech giant Monsanto, with its proverbial tail between its legs, announced that it is shutting down many of its European operations and laying off two-thirds of its employees in Britain.