1. Code of Practice

Practical measures for the on-farm management of GM crops, based on an updated version of the SCIMAC guidelines, is the first component of SCIMACís six-point plan on co-existence.

The SCIMAC guidelines are based on existing principles of good agricultural practice, and closely mirror the proven system operated for more than 30 years to produce certified seed crops. All aspects of on-farm operations are covered, from seed storage and planting procedures through to crop separation distances, harvesting procedures, post-harvest management and record-keeping.

The SCIMAC guidelines were formally endorsed by the UK Government in May 1999, and formed the basis for managing the GM crops in the Governmentís four-year programme of Farm-Scale Evaluations (FSEs) from 1999-2003.

Independent audits conducted at all FSE sites by the Governmentís GM Inspectorate and ADAS Consulting Ltd demonstrated very high levels of compliance with the SCIMAC guidelines. There was no loss of non-GM or organic status throughout the FSE process.

This unique opportunity to apply and evaluate the SCIMAC guidelines at more than 280 field-scale sites across the UK confirmed that the measures involved are compatible with the management practices already widespread within UK agriculture, and effective in delivering co-existence between GM and non-GM crops.

Taken together, this experience indicates that practical co-existence guidelines can be managed effectively at the farm level, and need not represent a major departure from current best practice within the industry.

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