Here is something from today’s Daily Mail that you might want to post.
Scientists’ hidden links to the GM food giants: Disturbing truth behind official report that said UK should forge on with Frankenfoods
- Government advisory body presented an ‘independent’ report on Thursday
- It was used to support a bid to speed up the use of GM food in the UK
- But in fact all five authors have a vested interest in promoting GM crops
PUBLISHED: 23:26, 14 March 2014 | UPDATED: 00:40, 15 March 2014
The authors of a study calling for GM crops to be fast-tracked into Britain’s farms and kitchens all have links to the industry, it can be revealed.
The report was presented as the work of ‘independent’ scientists and was published on Thursday by a government advisory body.
It was used to support a bid to speed up the development of the controversial crops in the UK, but it has emerged that all five authors have a vested interest in promoting GM crops and food – and some are part-funded by the industry.
Opposition: Critics of GM described the ‘independent’ report as ‘biased and downright dangerous’. Pictured is an anti-GM protest in 2002
Critics of GM last night described the report as ‘biased and downright dangerous’, and accused the biotech giants and the Government of mounting a crude propaganda campaign to overturn public opposition.
The academics behind the study were chosen by the Council for Science and Technology, the body that advises the Prime Minister on science policy issues.
In the report presented at a press conference on Thursday, no information was given about the five scientists beyond their names and the institutions they work for.
- Speed up GM crops in UK, say scientists: They dismiss opponents’ arguments as a ‘neurosis’
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They include Professor Sir David Baulcombe, from Cambridge University, who works as a consultant for GM firm Syngenta, which gives his department research funding.
Syngenta is behind a genetically modified maize or corn, called GA21, which could go into UK farms as early as next spring, making it Britain’s first commercially grown GM crop.
Also on the list is Professor Jonathan Jones, of the Sainsbury Laboratory, which is at the centre of Britain’s GM research. It is part-funded by former Labour science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is one of the country’s biggest supporters of the technology.
Another co-author was Professor Jim Dunwell, of the University of Reading. He was a founder member of CropGen, which describes its mission as ‘to make the case for GM crops and foods’.
The study suggested GM crops could save the hungry in the Third World from starvation and create new plants resistant to disease and pests.
‘Sales pitch’: Opponents have questioned whether the scientists’ conclusions are to be believed
The authors argued that current EU regulation should be re-drawn to allow the UK to go it alone and plant the crops, even if the rest of Europe objects.
By contrast, the study pulled a veil over evidence of harm to the countryside, insects and wildlife associated with industrial GM farming practices.
The US has seen the emergence of superweeds that are immune to some chemical sprays and are now choking fields. Separately, there has been an absence of research into the health effects of eating GM.
A spokesman for GM Watch, Claire Robinson, said: ‘By no stretch of the imagination can these people be described as independent scientists.
‘Their views should be treated with the same scepticism we would apply to any sales pitch.’
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