SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – August 1999

A selection of this month's GM news – is the tide of media contempt for all that is GM on the wane?

Salt sellers – With the death of baby Leroy Elders the media has set about exposing the hidden but 'deadly' salt content of processed foods.

Stranger Danger – The much vilified advice from the NSPCC – judge for yourself.

A report which suggests that chocolate might actually be good for you.

Anti-US sentiments among the French, as reflected in the price charged for a bottle of Coke

The German Greens and British Beef.

The quality of advice in Britain's health food shops.

Does it matter if pregnant women don't follow all the diet advice?

GM The 26th attack by environmentalists on UK farm crops this year successfully managed to uproot the wrong plants. 43 protestors have been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage to a field of non-GM maize at Home Farm, Spital in the Street, Lincolnshire. The damage to the maize, destined to end its life as cattle feed, is estimated at approximately £2,000. Ironically, Home Farm is one of four new farm scale trial sites recently announced by the government, which are to begin next year. With the arrest of Lord Melchett, director of Greenpeace, at the beginning of the month and the growing proliferation of direct action campaigns organised by them and other green interest groups, the tide of media contempt for all that is GM seems to be on the wane and the foundations for the 'greens' once unified front seems to be becoming increasingly shaky.

Salt Sellers With the death of baby Leroy Elders the media set about exposing the hidden but 'deadly' salt content of processed foods. While the story understandably received much coverage the perceived site of blame was by no means unanimous.

Tea & Biscuits – snacking for health Research published in the Lancet this week has identified chocolate as containing one of the largest sources of catechins. Recent research has suggested that catechins, a group of compounds in the flavonoid family, may reduce susceptibility to cancer and heart disease, reduce platelet aggregation and inhibit LDL-cholesterol oxidation…

The real thing – cutting the mustard  Fuelled more by US trade sanctions than dioxin-related health concerns, the Coca-Cola Company is experiencing severe localised inflation in the French town of Dijon.

BSE Contrôlée Despite the lifting of the EU ban on British beef, fears surrounding BSE continue to make the headlines. Germany has refused to allow the sale of British beef after their Health Minister Andrea Fischer, a member of the Green Party, pointed out that BSE had not been totally eradicated from British herds.

Which advice?  Which magazine sent thirty under-cover researchers into a number of Britain's health food shops to assess their recommended remedies for anxiety and indigestion.

Baby food  Research conducted by scientists at Oxford University seems set to challenge conventional nutritional wisdom that pregnant women's diet significantly effects the health of their child.