ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

23 January 2003


*Devon votes to go GM-free



The Government's proposed public debate in the UK on GM crops and food is becoming a fiasco say Friends of the Earth after Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Mike German called for the debate to be delayed until summer 2003. In a letter to GM debate chair Professor Malcolm Grant, Mr German stated "Two or three months is the sort of time scale envisaged and we think that any lessening of that time scale could seriously undermine its purpose" and asked that the committee "consider a two-three month debate taking place in summer 2003. This would allow more time to debate the issues with the due consideration they deserve". Mike German also supports the view that the public debate should include the results of the Farm Scale Evaluations due to be published in July. FoE also urge the GM debate steering group to "stand up and fight for a full and wide ranging debate so the public can have their say on the future of GM crops and food"

More information - Friends of the Earth


Devon votes to go GM-free
Devon County Council has voted to take steps to become GM-free and has called on the Government to ban GM crops. The decision has been warmly welcomed by Friends of the Earth which launched its GM-free Britain Campaign in October last year. On Tuesday Devon County Council‚s Executive Committee unanimously agreed to: call on the Government to ban the commercial implementation of GM technology until scientific evidence has shown there are no harmful effects on humans, animals or the environment; raise the issue with the South West Assembly with the objective of establishing a common South West position on the issue; endorse the existing policy of the Council‚s catering service not to supply GM food to council establishments (such as schools and residential homes); advise council tenants of its opposition to GM crops.
More information -
Friends of the Earth
Devon County Council
Quotes of the week:

""The deal would be this: If the Americans would stop lying about us, we  would stop telling the truth about them." -  EU Development Commissioner  Poul Nielson quoted in 'EU's Nielson blasts U.S. "lies" in GM food row'

"Zambia is a sovereign country and makes its own decisions. Zambians do not need to be heroic to assert their sovereignty... GM-free supplies are available in surplus in southern Africa. Europe's policy is to provide food aid procured in the region, rather than as a means of disposing of domestic stocks." - Pascal Lamy, the EU's trade commissioner quoted in The Case for Caution: 'We believe that citizens should have the right to choose'

Lamy's message has been put more bluntly by Alex Wijeratna of the development charity ActionAid, "The UN confirms there is enough non-GM food in southern Africa and on world markets... The US should [untie its aid] and stop putting a GM gun to the head of hungry Zambians."

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