ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  1 March 2001


This mad rant comes, as the article says, from "one of Tony Blair's closest advisors" and the man who will be pontificating on consumer issues in relation to GM at the US-funded Seedy Opportunists Con-ference overseen by IEA intimate Philip Stott.  STOP THE STOTT!

Incidentally, contrast Haskins' statement "The Organic Movement seeks to ban most scientific innovation" with the recent Soil Association position statement on acceptable uses of biotechnology.

Similarly, contrast his Dennis Avery like reflection: "A wholly organic world agricultural system would quickly lead to mass starvation" with the organic farming literature review (1999) by an IACR researcher which concluded organic farming can feed the world.

Haskins statement is pure prejudice which is, of course, what makes him an ideal Seedy Opportunist. The 'Commentator' for the Haskins session (on 31st May at the "Seeds of Opportunity" con-ference) will be Clive Beddall of The Grocer.
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Food safety: Haskins blasts organics lobby
The Grocer (UK) - February 24, 2001

One of Tony Blair's closest advisors has slammed the organics movement and expressed strong support for GM food.

Lord Haskins, chairman of the government's Better Regulation Task Force and non executive chairman of Northern Foods, launched his withering attack at the Provision Trade Federation annual dinner.

He said: "The Organic Movement seeks to ban most scientific innovation and appears to have replaced the Church of England as a place where aristocrats take refuge from the real world."

He warned: "A wholly organic world agricultural system would quickly lead to mass starvation." And he added: "A wholly organic European farm system would put British and European farmers out of business unless they were given much larger subsidies than currently apply."

Lord Haskins said that the BSE crisis and often spurious newspaper scare stories had created a climate "where scientific progress, notably with GM food, is being denied by affluent, educated middle class pressure groups.

"The GM saga highlighted the headless chicken syndrome which has bedevilled the food trade since BSE."

He also turned his fire on retailers and manufacturers, who "in a kneejerk response banned the use of GM ingredients in their products. These bans will be unsustainable as GM technology becomes the order of the day in the Americas, China, Australasia and Africa."

Consumers should be given freedom to decide on issues such as GM food, said Lord Haskins, and he concluded: "Let the heir to the throne enjoy his excellent if somewhat risky organic food.

"Let those who are healthy enough and foolish enough to want to drink unpasteurised milk be allowed to do so.

"Let my cattle enjoy their genetically modified soya.  Let the poor, starving people of the world have access to safe, affordable food which GM food will probably offer them"

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