Step by step

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The Independent Online

Step by step is a good watchword when moving into the unknown, especially when it concerns so sensitive a subject as our own food. The decision by Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, yesterday to allow GM maize to be grown on a commercial scale is a step too modest for the producers and a step too far for the protesters. But, given the scientific evidence so far, it seems a sensible dipping of Britain's toe into this overheated water. Yes, let us try out one crop type. European rules make it difficult to resist it. But do not let this presage a full plunge. We need to review the results at each point in the process.

Step by step is a good watchword when moving into the unknown, especially when it concerns so sensitive a subject as our own food. The decision by Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, yesterday to allow GM maize to be grown on a commercial scale is a step too modest for the producers and a step too far for the protesters. But, given the scientific evidence so far, it seems a sensible dipping of Britain's toe into this overheated water. Yes, let us try out one crop type. European rules make it difficult to resist it. But do not let this presage a full plunge. We need to review the results at each point in the process.

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