What others say

Forum for cross-industry consensus

The development of the SCIMAC initiative since June 1998 has provided a forum for consensus between all major farm supply chain bodies in the UK on a crossindustry approach to GM crop stewardship and introduction;

'The NFU was a founder member of SCIMAC and continues to actively support it. The NFU's role as a member of SCIMAC ensures that the views and requirements of its farmer members, whatever their chosen production method, can be represented.'

NFU policy statement, April 2003

Blueprint for technology introduction

The SCIMAC initiative has been independently recognised as a potential blueprint for the managed commercial introduction of other GM technologies within agriculture:

'We welcome the role already being played by UK farmers and their representatives (as well as others in the agricultural/food supply industry) in the SCIMAC initiative to determine best practice for the introduction of GM crops. We recommend that the SCIMAC approach to best practice for the introduction of herbicide tolerant crops be extended to the broader issues of transitions in agronomic practice raised by GM plant varieties which have significant potential environmental impact.'

Nuffield Council on Bioethics, May 1999

Framework for co-existence

The SCIMAC guidelines have been independently acknowledged as a sound basis on which to build in delivering successful co-existence of GM and non-GM crops;

‘We conclude that the SCIMAC guidelines are a practical approach to crop-handling procedures on a particular farm. We believe the SCIMAC guidelines offer a firm basis on which to build in order to segregate GM and non-GM crops in the UK countryside.’

House of Commons Agriculture Committee, July 2000

Success in delivering FSE trial sites

As the industry partner within the UK Government's Farm-Scale Evaluations, SCIMAC ensured the successful delivery of more than 280 field-scale trials of GM herbicide tolerant crops in the UK, meeting the independent scientific criteria of this pioneering biodiversity research programme;

'The consortium informed the SSC that all field work on spring oil seed rape, beet and maize is now complete and that enough experimental fields had been studied to address the null hypothesis. The SSC congratulated all members of the research consortium, the farmers and the industry group SCIMAC on this achievement.'

FSE Scientific Steering Committee, November 2002

Demonstrating that co-existence can work

The SCIMAC guidelines were applied and independently audited at all field-scale FSE sites, with no loss of organic / non-GM status, and very high levels of grower compliance;

‘Over the three year reporting period there has been a high level of compliance with the SCIMAC Code of Practice and Guidelines. No major non-conformances have been found in the eight Critical Control Points identified by SCIMAC.’

ADAS Summary Report, May 2003

Positive contribution to EU policy

EU Commission Recommendations on Co-existence, published in July 2003, reflected the guiding principles set out in the SCIMAC approach.

'The Commission has followed the SCIMAC project with great interest. It has provided valuable input to the Commission's considerations concerning the coexistence issue.'

Kim Madsen, DG Sanco, July 2003

A key opinion former in Europe

SCIMAC has worked closely with EU Commission officials on the co-existence issue, and was invited to participate in EU Commission Stakeholder Roundtable on Coexistence, where the UK's initiative was specifically welcomed by Commissioner Franz Fischler;

'An encouraging trend is that an increasing number of initiatives are being taken by the Member States. In the UK, a code of good practice for herbicideresistant crops is currently being tested under field conditions.'

EU Commission Communication on Co-existence, March 2003

International recognition

SCIMAC has worked hard to establish dialogue and cooperation with similar initiatives in other world areas;

'Management systems such as SCIMAC (UK) have a great deal to offer all farmers, whether they be non- GM, organic or GM producers.'

'SCIMAC has developed a valuable package of practices for the introduction and growing of genetically modified crops.'

RIRDC, Department of Agriculture Food and Fisheries, Australia, 2001

A whole chain approach

SCIMAC has maintained strong relationships with other key stakeholders along the UK supply chain. These links will become increasingly significant as the conditions for managing co-existence, traceability and labelling at a UK and EU level are developed.

'FDF welcomes the SCIMAC initiative which will greatly facilitate the managed introduction of GM crops to UK agriculture and the provision of associated information along the food chain to food manufacturers and their customers.'

Food and Drink Federation, UK

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