Letter: GM secrecy

Sir: Sir Richard Sykes, chairman of Glaxo Wellcome, has been heavily reported as saying that the present anti-GM food campaign will be detrimental to this country, and that in future the location of GM crop trials should be kept secret to protect them from environmental activists ("British science `in deep decline' ", 13 September).

I am not an advocate of "direct action", but I endorse the concerns expressed by residents in my local press regarding the proposed testing of GM oil seed rape near Hemel Hempstead. Test this technology by all means, but not in open countryside where damage, if caused, cannot be undone.

People have the right to know about these test sites, just as they have the right to choose whether or not they want GM food on their plates. Organic farmers in the vicinity have a special interest in the location of GM test sites, since they cannot sell their produce as organic if it has been contaminated with GM material.

GILL NEWCOMBE

Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

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