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Championship GM greens at your local?
by Associated Press

A report in The Times on Monday revealed the world's first genetically modified golf courses have been planted at 14 secret locations in America.

The strain of GM grass will provide the truest of playing surfaces on greens, tees and fairways and it is also cheap and easy for greenkeepers to maintain. It could mean your average local golf club will realistically be able to offer greens that are as smooth and fast as the best championship courses.

The grass is a version of creeping bentgrass which is used by courses such as Augusta National and Loch Lomond, and is renowned as the finest golfing playing surface. However, it is also inherently difficult and expensive to maintain.

The GM version though, has been developed so greenkeepers can easily control weeds and ensure the surface is kept perfect with minimal effort.

The first courses were planted in the US last year and the seed should be commercially available within two years. But British courses have to wait for a moratorium on new GM organisms, and experts believe the grass is unlikely to receive regulatory approval for at least a decade.

Critics of GM crops have attacked the planting as unnecessary and irresponsible and Friends of the Earth have questioned the effects the grass will have on birds and wild animals.


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