SIRC – Media Watch 20-04-99

GM crops and food

GenetiX Snowball picketed fields owned by Lord de Ramsey, head of the Environment Agency, in protest against his plans to allow GM crop tests on his land. Placards were placed around the property proclaiming the message "Biohazard".

Michael Meacher, meanwhile, has made public his intentions to overhaul the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment(Acre), replacing ten of its thirteen existing members, who according to Friends of the Earth are all closely connected to the biotech industry.

The government warns chip manufacturers not to import genetically modified potatoes – currently on sale in the US as Monsanto’s New Leaf brand – to counter the national shortage brought about by the failure of last year’s crop. Environmental campaigners such as Friends of the Earth have urged the government to "act quickly as the French have done to ban the planting of [GM] crops with wild relatives" in response to scientists’ discovery of pollen spread from a GM rape trial crop to wild turnip plants.

The level of rational thinking in this area appears to be plummeting even further. [See SIRC's comments on the misuse of science in the GM debate – Flight of reason The hidden side-effects of the GM food scare]