GM wheat trials are to begin in the UK next year, after Defra granted Rothamsted Research permission to release wheat lines genetically modified for resistance to aphids.

Hertfordshire-based Rothamsted will conduct trials during 2012 and 2013, with independent expert group the Advisory Committee of Releases to the Environment (ACRE) – which evaluated its application – satisfied that the proposed trials would not result in any adverse effect on human health or the environment.

Precautionary conditions were attached to the consent from Defra, which aim to ensure that no GM material from the trial will enter the food and feed chain.

The trial will be on a very small scale, with approximately 350 seeds per m2 to be released, over an area of 288m2. It is set to take place at one site over two years.