The UK government has refused to completely segregate genetically modified crops from conventional crops when new trials start this spring.

The ministry of agriculture increased the maximum margin of the exclusion zone around GM crops from 50 to 100 metres. Agriculture minister Baroness Hayman accepted that under these plans conventional crops could be contaminated by up to 1%. 

The government rejected pleas for a 3km zone by organic and environmental groups, who believe that a more realistic figure of 5% contamination may result from the 100 metres exclusion plan.

“Contamination is inevitable,” said John Holden of the Soil Association.