GOVERNMENT owes Herefordshire an explanation before genetic crop trials get the go-ahead, the county council has been told.

Angry at an 'ambush' announcement of GM tests in the area, the authority intends to root out answers.

Doubts about the project planned for Preston Wynne were aired when members met last week.

Council leader Terry James said the selection of the county for farm-scale GM trials took many, including the authority, by surprise.

Government, he said, now needed to explain both a lack of consultation on the initiative and any risks it may pose to health or the environment, especially in relation to adjacent organic operations.

Councillor Don Rule (Ind/Marcle Ridge) confirmed his constituents as expressing similar fears over a GM site at Kempley, on the Herefordshire-Gloucestershire border - also imposed without consultation, he said.

A letter outlining the authority's objections to the absence of advance information will soon be winging its way to Whitehall.

l Full details of the trials taking place at ADAS Rosemaund this summer featured in the Farming section of The Hereford Times last week.