LONDON (B)--A spokesman for UK luxury department store boss, Mohamed Al Fayed, said May 31 that staff at his estate in Scotland had unwittingly planted 55 acres of GMO-contaminated oilseed rape, the Press Association reports.

The spokesman for Fayed, owner of Harrods, said: "I can confirm that 55 acres have inadvertently been planted with this seed which it turns out has been contaminated with GM."

He said Fayed was "outraged" by the discovery, adding: "He feels that he and other farmers who have been affected are certainly entitled to compensation and that they should protest against this.

"He is certainly in touch with the Scottish Farmers' Union and members of the Scottish Parliament and is hoping that they will present a united front."

In the last two years up to 600 farmers in Britain are believed to have planted up to 13,400 hectares of oilseed rape, supplied by Dutch-based Advanta Seeds, contaminated with a GM rapeseed variety that has not been approved for commercial growing in Europe.

National Farmers Union of Scotland president, Jim Walker, has called on the Government to pursue Advanta for compensation, destroy affected crops and pay full interim payments to farmers affected.

Last week Agriculture Minister Nick Brown advised farmers to destroy the crops but the Government said that losses incurred by farmers were a matter to be resolved between them and the seed suppliers.

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