Although crop trashing has obviously had a powerful safeguarding effect more anti-GM gardeners are obviously needed.
By Tim Utton
Scientists warned last night that pollution of Britain's natural plant strains is inevitable once genetically modified crops are planted.
In a blow to the GM lobby, they predicted that a single year of 'Frankenstein' crops will yield tens of thousands of hybrids - when the wild plant and its GM equivalent become mixed.
Even wide gaps separating modified varieties from their natural counterparts will not be sufficient because pollen can travel up to two miles, said the researchers in the first national study of its kind in the UK.
Campaigners fear such hybrids could turn into superweeds able to resist the strongest herbicides and will dominate the British countryside.
Plant genetics experts at Reading University spent three years studying the potential spread of GM traits in the countryside.
Writing today in the journal Science, they conclude: 'Widespread, relatively frequent hybrid formation is inevitable from male-fertile GM rapeseed in the UK.'
It is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Government's plans to approve GM crops for cultivation in the UK.
Last month the national 'GM Nation' survey revealed that 93 percent of people believe not enough is known about the long-term effects of GM maize, sugar beet and oil seed rape claimed that two of the three types are more harmful to the environment that conventional varieties.
And last week, leaked results of the Government's three-year trials of GM maize, sugar beet and oil seed rape claimed that two of the three types are more harmful to the environment than conventional varieties.
In the latest study, plant geneticists used DNA fingerprinting techniques to see how many hybrids - containing genes from both parent plants - had been created when non-GM oilseed rape was planted near to its wild cousin.
Dr Mike Wilkinson found that during a single year, 32,000 hybrid plants were created across the UK, and a further 17,000 hybrids were found in a separate 'weed' variant of oilseed rape growing alongside the crops.
Dr Wilkinson said: 'The concern of a many people is that a gene from a genetically modified crop into a wild relative, the possession of the gene will give the hybrid plant some sort of advantage, and this will lead to unwanted ecological change.'
Scientists admit the genetic advantages conferred by new GM genes are an unknown quantity, and could mean they 'out-compete' natural plants.
GM oilseed rape is modified to withstand a powerful herbicide and the fear is that the plants could pass on this resistance to their wild cousins.
Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, said: 'This study confirms what we have known all along - that co-existence is impossible.
'Neither GM oilseed rape - nor any other genetically modified crop - should be grown in the UK under any circumstances.