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BBSRC statement on damage to Rothamsted Research GM field trial

21 May 2012

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "We were disappointed to hear that an individual has caused damage to the BBSRC-funded GM field trial at Rothamsted Research and condemn this act of vandalism. We strongly support the right of our funded scientists to carry out approved and regulated trials and we fully support the action of the police which prevented further science losses. We will now work closely with Rothamsted as they examine the extent of the damage caused and will provide all necessary funding and advice they need to complete the project.

"We understand that some people do not agree with this research and we encourage our funded scientists to engage with a range of views around their work. People have the right to make their views known but we deplore those that turn to criminal damage. We will support the police and Rothamsted in ensuring all appropriate action is now taken.

"The UK has a world-leading bioscience community that can help us to overcome many of the serious issues we face now and in the coming years. They cannot do this without conducting experiments and trials. This trial aims to generate the evidence and knowledge that all proponents in the GM debate would like to see.

"Damaging this trial is an attempt to remove one option for addressing significant challenges in global food security. It will not be the only option but we believe that we should explore every potential approach and not to deprive society of tools for the future."

ENDS

BBSRC Media Office

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382