Letter: High price of techno-farming

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The Independent Online
Sir: The costly side-effects of agrotechnical farming and the adulteration of our food go even deeper than your coverage acknowledges ("Can British farming go green?", 9 April).

The new technofix, genetic engineering, will soon be obliging us to buy soya bean and cooking oils which have been genetically modified for herbicide resistance. In all probability, these genes have already escaped from freely pollinating crops such as oilseed rape into their wild relatives growing in the hedgerows. This same resistance will also be transferred into related weed varieties, which will render the original herbicides useless.

Meanwhile, "conventional" herbicides are leaving fields of maize stubble denuded of protective ground cover throughout the winter months and sluicing huge amounts of herbicide-laced topsoil into our rivers. These same chemicals then enter our drinking-water supplies

Martin Hughes-Jones

Mid Devon Green Party

Tiverton, Devon

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