Protests greet sale of genetic maize strain

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Environmental groups and supermarkets joined in protest against the European Commission's decision yesterday to approve the sale of a new strain of genetically modified maize.

Greenpeace called on John Gummer, the Secretary of State for the Environment, to ban the product, while Tesco said it would not allow the use of the unprocessed maize in animal feed for its meat supplies. Ciba-Geigy, which has developed the new maize, has given a written pledge to label bags containing its new seed to indicate the product had been obtained using biotechnology. Some scientists fear its use could lead to bacteria with heightened resistance to antibiotics. Charles Arthur