DEFRA has dismissed claims that its plans for a national debate on GMOs are merely a "propaganda exercise" to prepare the ground for the commercial planting of GM crops. A spokesman said the government was "anxious not to be perceived as manipulating events" and invited all interested parties to join the debate, which could take the form of a TV debate or a "GM summit". DEFRA will stimulate this debate through commissioning two key pieces of work to assess the economic and environmental impact of GM crops. Friends of the Earth GM campaigner Adrian Bebb said: "It's clear that the government is gearing up for a big push for GM crops." {{NEWS }}