First trial of GM crops rich in omega-3s harvested in UK

Britain’s first trial of GM crops enriched with nutrients to improve health has been successfully harvested. Following a groundbreaking field trial, the first camelina (false flax) crop genetically modified to produce seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids was harvested at Rothamsted Research on 5 September.

Project leader Johnathan Napier and his team of researchers harvested the 8x8m crop by hand at Rothamsted’s experimental field site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The GM plants were cut and bagged up and removed from the field. The plant material was taken to a glasshouse on site where it will remain for one week to dry out. The seeds will then be analysed for their omega-3 fatty acid composition. Any waste material will be removed to landfill.

“It’s a landmark step,” an emotional Prof Napier told Farmers Weekly. “It’s the first UK trial of a GM crop with a nutritional benefit trait in it. “This is the culmination of at least a decade’s worth of fundamental research. We know that the engineered crop will produce the omega-3s in the glasshouse.

Read the full, original article: Genetically modified crop harvested at Rothamsted

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