Britain’s environment minister Michael Meacher has said that contamination from genetically modified crops is a threat to the government’s hopes of increasing organic food production in Britain.

Around 30% of the organic produce consumed in Britain is grown there and the government plans to increase this to 70% by 2010.

“The co-existence of organic and GM crops is a very real problem,” Meacher was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

 “Whatever decisions the government comes to about the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain, it has to be compatible with allowing the growth of organics.”

Meacher added that although consumers might be opposed to the growing of GM crops, it was impossible under EU rules for Britain to stop growing them unless it found health or environmental evidence that they were harmful.

Anti-GM campaigners were angered by this admission, saying the government-sponsored debate on the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain is pointless is the country does not have a choice anyway, reported the Guardian.