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Genetically modified maize — pollen movement and crop co-existence

The French, Spanish and UK authors of this report examine the implications of growing GM and non-GM maize in proximity and conclude that co-existence of these crops can be achieved by applying "a few simple measures". The report contains field data and literature surveys of co-existence studies and explores issues such as pollen movement, viability and the potential for cross-pollination. It also describes measures currently used in North America and Spain to minimise the adventitious presence of GM maize in a non-GM crop.

The report concludes that good farming practices and normal harvesting procedures alone are adequate to reach the 99.1 % purity threshold set by the 2004 EU labelling legislation. Additional measures, such as buffer zones and increased separation distances reduce further the probability of GM presence to "minute levels". This, the authors conclude, means that GM, conventional and organic maize producers can co-exist and maintain the integrity of their crops.

Importantly, the data used in this report originate from both commercial planting as well as research plots. This report will be of interest to people concerned about co-existence; it will be valuable to those involved in regulation and policy-making, and it will be of practical help to agriculturalists.

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