Castle Cenlas farm was at the centre of a mass demonstration this morning after it was revealed that the Welsh Assembly has no power to prevent government trials of GM maize. Two fields of the farm, in Mathry, Pembrokeshire, have been earmarked for participation in a GM crop trial, and local organic farmers have been angered at the decision, as contamination could endanger their livelihoods.
The Welsh Assembly had vowed to keep Wales a GM-free farming zone, with members voting 42-10 against the Seeds Regulations 2000, which had already been approved in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones revealed on Friday however that despite the vote, the government trials would go ahead.
Many of the Welsh protestors argue that the Labour government should not be able to override the decisions of the Assembly.
More than 200 protesters gathered and released yellow, biodegradable helium balloons to demonstrate how the wind will carry pollen from the farm around the surrounding countryside.
Sandra Pellowe, from green group Friends of the Earth, commented from the rally: “People are really upset. We thought we were never going to have this problem. Several small farmers have actually been aided by the Government to go organic, but now it seems they won’t get their accreditation.”