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Finnish scientists urge scientific GMO decision making

A group of Finnish scientists has submitted a petition to MPs urging them to base legislative decisions on genetically modified crops on scientific facts rather than hearsay and rumours, reports Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The petitioned MPs constitute the country’s parliamentary committees of agriculture and forestry, and of the environment. The scientists, including 140 professors, feel that Finland and the EU have gone too far in setting limits to the development of GM crops without basing their actions on scientific arguments. Their immediate concern is a pending bill dealing with conditions for the cultivation of GM potatoes in Finland. The researchers say that the suggested 18-30 m isolation distance is excessive and could be limited to 3 m as has been done in Sweden. They fear that “because of false information”, the MPs might ban GM plants in Finland. They clarify, however, that the petition is not advocating GMOs, but simply an attempt to have only scientific arguments as criteria in the decision-making process.

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