COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Friends of the Earth lobbies councils to restrict GM crops

Friends of the Earth has launched a campaign to convince local authorities to become GM-free zones as the deadline nears for the government to decide whether genetically modified crops should be grown commercially.

The campaign is expected to last at least six months and the charity will lobby MPs through 80 local groups and through a newly launched dedicated web site. Visitors to www.gmfreebritain.com will be able to send campaigning emails to environment secretary Margaret Beckett.

Friends of the Earth wants councils to ensure that no GM crops are grown in their area and at least 50 authorities have already backed the Five-Year Freeze campaign.

Kevin Dunion, chief executive at Friends of the Earth, said: "This is a crucial point in the GM debate. The Government will soon decide whether to allow GM crops to be commercially grown."

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