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UK: Food Standards Agency on Hot Seat over GMOs

Two members of the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency steering group on genetically modified foods (GM foods, or GMOs) recently resigned from the group in protest over language inserted into a report from the agency strengthening the case for the growth of GMO crops and sales of GMOs in the UK.

soy-corn-wheat-featured.jpgAccording to The Observer, emails between members of the Food Standards Agency group and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council, which represents such businesses as Bayer and Monsanto, show the council inserted key sentences strengthening the case for GMOs that ended up in the final report, “Food Standards Agency work on changes in the market and the GM regulatory system.”

Dr. Helen Wallace, director of Genewatch UK, a scientific pressure group opposed to GMOs, left the steering group last month.  She told The Observer the emails, “expose how the Food Standards Agency is acting as a puppet of the GM industry by colluding with foreign GM companies to undermine people’s access to GM-free food supplies in Britain.”

Professor Brian Wynne, an expert on public engagement with science and the group’s vice-chairman, resigned from the steering group last week.  He expressed concerns that the Food Standards Agency had adopted a pro-GMO attitude.

UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has recently come under fire and is being called on to abandon a planned public consultation exercise on GMOs.  She formerly was a director at a food and biotechnology lobbying company, Spelman, Cormack and Associates, with her husband, Mark Spelman, and has been quoted saying she is in favor of GMOs “in the right circumstances.”

“The consultation-exercise has lost all credibility,” said Pete Riley, of pressure group GM Freeze.  “And it is clear that the Food Standards Agency should not be allowed anywhere near it–they clearly have a pro-GM agenda.

“Mrs. Spelman must take advice from a wider number of experts on GM. The time has come for the government to pull the plug on this discredited public consultation exercise,” he told the Mail Online.

To date, the Food Standards Agency has defended the decision to include changes suggested by the GM lobby in the final report.

A spokesman for Spelman told the Mail Online, “The Secretary of State is clear that all future decisions on GM trials and future policy will be based on science, and will consider the potential benefits, but also the real concern that the public have about GM technology.”

Concerns over GMOs Span the Globe

While the UK is facing its own battle over GMOs, Food Safety News reported yesterday that a group of Haitian farmers has committed to burning 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds donated by Monsanto as earthquake relief.  And In Zimbabwe, where 2.2 million people need emergency food aid because low seasonal rains resulted in crop failure, GM corn from other countries has been rejected.

“The government’s position on unmilled GM maize has not changed,” Joseph Made, Zimbabwe’s Agriculture Minister, told The National in a recent interview.  Made said cross-pollination of GM and organic crops could result in local crop contamination, a concern among Zimbabweans.

“We took a position in 2002 that we will not accept unmilled maize. If we are to get any maize, it has to be milled first before it is distributed. Yes we have a section of our population in need of assistance, but that does not mean that we accept maize that can pose long-term impact on their heath and our farm produce, which has always been organic.”

Sheunesu Mpepereki, a soil science professor at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, told Reuters, “Just because we are hungry does not make us accept food which we do not like.  In any case, I do not think that our hunger is so desperate that we can mortgage the long-term future and purity of our farm produce. Hunger is not permanent.”

© Food Safety News
  • M Btok

    Cassandra Anderson
    June 8, 2010
    Part 1 of 4.
    The purpose of this article is to give a brief outline of how the elites, and the Rockefellers in particular, are using food as a weapon.
    Since the Rockefeller family came to power (especially after gaining a monopoly with Standard Oil) they have manipulated our government into ruining our financial system by way of the Federal Reserve, energy through oil dependency and food with GMOs (Genetically Engineered Organisms). The intention is to rob us blind and kill us. It’s time to wake up.
    The official name of this program is Agenda 21 Sustainable Development.
    It the overarching blueprint for depopulation and total control over America and the rest of the world. There is no question that Americans are targeted for depopulation: GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food has saturated American farmlands. GMOs are dangerous and the proliferation of corn crops (used as sweetener, animal feed, processed food, etc) in America is shortening our life spans.(1) Our water is polluted, containing over 60,000 chemicals, most of which have never been tested for safety.(2) Our air is toxic, and the US is one of the most targeted areas for chemtrails.(3) This is just the tip of the iceberg, the things we know about. The focus of this article is revealing the link between the Rockefellers and their intended use of food as a weapon, which is more powerful than military domination and energy control.
    While Agenda 21 was introduced in 1992, the elite collectivists, lead by the Rockefellers, have been pushing population control on America and the world for generations. In 1992, this depopulation and control policy was modernized and given a name: Agenda 21, or the Agenda for the 21st century. The premise for depopulation and control is to preserve the environment. One would have to be an idiot to disregard environmental concerns, however, the solutions that Agenda 21 offers fail to address the real issues. The primary tools that Agenda 21 Sustainable Development uses are global warming lies, water shortages (like the man made drought in California, which also causes food shortages) and the Endangered Species Act (designed to take away private property, which is the base of wealth creation and freedom). To get the whole story
    Go to: http://www.infowars.com/food-and-depopulation-rockefeller-family/

  • Doc Mudd

    *”Sheunesu Mpepereki, a soil science professor at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, told Reuters, “Just because we are hungry does not make us accept food which we do not like.”*
    Good for you, Mr. Mpepereki! Thank you for pointing out that you, too, can ape elitist foodies…even in the face of hunger. Do you speak for all, that’s all of the hungry people in your country? Are you hungry yourself – really hungry on the salary of an elite ‘university professor’, as part of the entitled ‘establishment’?
    Ah, well, let the common Zimbabweans eat cake, then. That’s fine with us. Relieved that we needn’t waste our own resources on trendy cultures with effete palates, however pathetic. Wonderful that we can focus on our own pressing domestic issues and trust the Zimbabweans to cheerfully fend for themselves. Let us in the developed world not risk being accused of inhumanitarian behavior for our naive compassion and generosity. Silly us!

  • Jane Doe

    Credit to those who have the courage to look at the long term future and not just how to make a profit in the moment at the expense of our land and future generations. Doc Mudd, you are taking Sheunesu Mpepereki’s comment out of context, and text without context, is pretext. What he actually said was,they
    would accept it MILLED, but not in seed form. And, the context
    you left out included “I do not think that our hunger is so desperate that we can mortgage the long-term future and purity of our farm produce. Hunger is not permanent.” That is commendable.

  • Doc Mudd

    “Hunger is not permanent”
    That’s right, eventually it kills. Africans, in this instance. Who go unnoticed and unmourned by elitist luddites in the developed nations for whom a rabid anti-progress agenda is so much more worthy than hoi polloi.
    In the prevailing economic climate, profligate elitism may not be permanent, Ms.Doe. One can only hope effete snobbery will eventually be blunted by reality.