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expert reaction to Defra confirmation of recall of unauthorised GM seed

The GM Inspectorate of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that it has found the unintended presence of genetically modified seed in a batch of conventional oilseed rape imported from France, with seed from the same batch being recalled. A statement said: “there is no risk to adjacent crops or the wider environment”.

All our previous output on this subject can be seen here.


Prof. Huw Jones, Head of Cereal Transformation Lab at Rothamsted Research, said:

“It is unfortunate that GM seeds have been found in a batch of imported conventional oil seed rape but this confirms that UK screening procedures are robust and this was identified at an early stage of cultivation to allow effective remedial actions to be taken.””


Declared interests

Prof. Huw Jones:

Employment: Rothamsted Research

Funding (past and present)

  • Bristol University
  • Tokyo University
  • Plastid ac.
  • EU Framework Programme 6

Membership of scientific advisory entity:

  • EFSA GMO panel
  • Communications & Public Engagement Group, Global Food Security programme
  • Monogram
  • UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) (past)


  • Nottingham University
  • Royal Society of Biology
  • Association of Applied Biologists (past)

Other relevant interests:

  • GM Crops Journal – unpaid member of editorial board
  • Plant Cell Reports Journal, Springer – Advisory/handling editor for academic manuscripts
  • Plant Biotechnology Journal, Wiley (past) – Journal Editorial Advisory Board (unpaid)
  • Dow AgroSciences LLC (past) – Rothamsted Research signed a research agreement with Dow AgroSciences (DAS) to conduct research using proprietary EXZACT Precision Technology which is owned by Sangamo / DAS. Rothamsted Research did not receive funding from DAS in relation to this agreement.

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