ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

13 July 2002


The first item refers, presumably, to a statement in a recent Observer article that the Food Standards Agency were to spend 5 million pounds on an investigation into organic food overseen by pro-GM, zealot Prof Mike Wilson:

Prof Wilson's previous propagandising in the name of science has already earned him a Pants on Fire award:

Here's a for instance: "On leaving SCRI to take up his HRI post, Wilson did a press interview with The Scotsman in which he claimed independent research had already proven GM crops a beneficial technology that encouraged wildlife. However, the evidence Wilson cited turned out not to be from the source he claimed; not to be independent in the way he implied; and nor did it contain any evidence for benefits to wildlife!"

All of which must have made him a natural choice for fellow trouser smoke specialist, Sir John Krebs:



July 13 ~ The GM Supremo John Krebs launches an FSA investigation into organic food "safety".......

And this letter appears in today's Telegraph

Re: Question of priorities Date: 13 July 2002

SIR - The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to launch an investigation into the safety of organic food, but it is unclear why there is such a need.

Organic food, at worst, is no more dangerous than non-organic food, and therefore poses no greater risk to consumers than the kind of food endorsed by the FSA itself. For that to be the case, man-made chemicals, hormones, food irradiation and routine antibiotics would have to be harmless, contrary to almost all independent scientific evidence.

So what is the point of the inquiry? Why does the FSA not channel equal energy into determining the safety of biotechnology or food that has been irradiated? Does the FSA know something we don't know?

Scientists the world over, both from within the scientific establishment and beyond, have acknowledged that these are unknown technologies whose effects could be catastrophic. Organic farming has been tried and tested over centuries. Biotechnology, food irradiation and some of the other excesses of intensive agriculture have not. It seems bizarre that an agency charged with protecting consumer health should studiously avoid looking into the same technologies that consumers by the millions are rejecting, while lavishing resources on a campaign to discredit the popular organic movement. How valuable will be the verdict of an organisation with such obviously poor priorities?

From: Zac Goldsmith, Editor, The Ecologist Magazine, London SW10


July 7 ~ John Humphrys on organic farming,,176-348402,00.html
The Sunday Times "........enemies there are. They exist largely in the agrochemical and biotech industries and a few academics who rely on those industries for their research grants. They fear the power of organisations such as the Soil Association to influence public opinion against intensive farming and especially against genetic modification. They can be pretty ruthless."
[WARNING: you need to register and pay to read archived Times articles]


June 28 ~ In comparison to GM giant Monsanto, WorldCom's book-juggling is the moral equivalent of shop-lifting [from Ecologist article]

Monsanto has recently been tried in Alabama for dumping tonnes of deadly PCBs in the poor community of Anniston and then trying to cover its tracks. In March a jury found the company guilty of every count levelled against it. Monsanto's crimes included negligence, suppression of the truth, and conduct "so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency'; conduct, in fact, that is "atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilised society'. BUT..While Monsanto's crimes were directed at the environment and people (poor people at that), Enron's (and WorldCom's) undermined confidence in the stock market - thereby threatening the economy.

The media's choice of what to cover merely reflected the sad truth that absolutely nothing in this country is more sacred than the economy. When push comes to shove - people and the environment be damned - , it's the economy, stupid, that matters. And not just any economy. The economy that counts is the one that is run by and for huge corporations.

There is no particular concern about the fate of local economies that support small farmers, locally-owned businesses, local craftspeople and artisans. Like people and the environment, those local economies can be - and systematically are - sacrificed for the good of the corporate-led economy.

Do read this article from the Ecologist.

ngin bulletin archive