Sunday, 27 May 2007


Photo: Will the introduction of rape into the countryside mean an increase of hayfever?

If rapeseed was grown more around the peninsula this would increase the suffering for people with allegies. Rape fields have been linked to adverse effects in asthma and hay fever sufferers. Some researchers also suggest that oilseed pollen is the cause of increased breathing difficulties.As a hayfever sufferer myself I could do without it taking over the landscape. R.K by e-mail

Hay fever is a very uncomortable affliction but research has shown that rape plants are unlikely to add to the discomfort as the plant is an entomophilous crop, with pollen transfer primarily by insects. Rapeseed in flower has a distinctive and pungent smell, reports have claimed that this causes sufferers to wrongly assume it is this that sets the allergy off because they can smell it.

The Monsanto Company in America has genetically engineered new cultivars of rapeseed that are resistant to the effects of its herbicide Roundup They have allegedly been vigorously prosecuting farmers found to have the Roundup Ready gene in Canola in their fields without paying a license fee even though it has been blown onto the land by accident. Would we have to suffer the same fate here if it was introduced? JH by e-mail


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