The Burke-Gibson collusion which Gibson has admitted to after a parliamentary speech of Gibson's turned out to be virtually identical to a paper by Derek Burke, raises further questions about the duplicity of the pro-GM lobby.
In one part of the Burke paper, Burke writes that, "...a rebuttal group is invaluable. For instance, the media reaction to the [GM] Farm Scale Evaluations infuriated the scientific community in a way I have never seen before. As an interested but independent scientist I felt we had to respond, so I decided to write to the Prime Minister telling him of widespread demoralization in the scientific community and the danger of losing new technologies, and asking for an assurance that when making his decision about the future of GM, he would take the scientific evidence fully into account."
Burke goes on, "I sent colleagues a draft letter, asking whether they would sign it... The letter was delivered to Prime Minister Tony Blair on 30 October 2003, and he replied on 7 November: 'I believe that the technology has great potential in the UK [and the Government] will take decisions on the basis of scientific evidence ... and will not react to scare mongering, but will continue to build a firm evidence base.'"
He continues, "It is important that a rebuttal group must be able to react quickly to any new developments. They need to stay in constant contact and must be prepared to react within 24 48 hours. It is no good waiting until the weekend. Nor is it any good asking a professional society to conduct a 'proper review to allay the fears of the public'. It will be too slow, too late and will not influence events." http://www.truthabouttrade.org/article.asp?id=1859
What's so interesting about Burke's account of events is the way in which he places his statements of individual response -- "I felt... I decided to write... I sent colleagues a draft letter" -- in the context of explaining the necessity of an organised "rebuttal group".
Revealingly, while the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES), which often seems privy to the views of members of this "rebuttal group", initially reported the Blair letter as, "written and coordinated by Professor Derek Burke" (SCIENTISTS ATTACK UK GOVERNMENT'S 'SILENCE' IN GM DEBATE), a THES article of the 7th November stated, "The letter was coordinated by Sense About Science" while a THES Leader about the letter did not even bother to mention Burke, referring instead to, "The new organisation behind the letter, Sense About Science". The editorial concluded, "Sense About Science is entitled to demand that both their [the government's] words and their deeds are more forceful." (Leader: Science deserves greater support, 7 November 2003).
This is rather like a set of Russian dolls, where one prizes each one open only to find another hidden within. Senior Labour MP and Chair of the Select Committee, Gibson, parrots Burke in parliament. Some of senior scientist, Burke's actions suggest he fronts for Sense About Science. This controversial lobby group is said to have been colonised by a political network with its own extreme agenda -- see Sense About Science's recent PANTS ON FIRE award. http://www.gmwatch.org/p2temp2.asp?aid=60&page=1&op=2
To round things off, Blair's response to the "Burke" letter occurred after Ian Gibson got up in the House of Commons to ask the Prime Minister for his response to the "Burke" letter. It is known via Gibson's office that Gibson asked "his" question at the behest of Sense About Science. Gibson is also reported to have reassured members of the science establishment concerned by what George Monbiot's Guardian piece -- Invasion of the Entryists -- revealed about the political network which had colonised Sense About Science, the Science Media Centre, the Genetic Interest Group etc. http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2003/12/09/invasion-of-the-entryists/
Of course, who within this duplicitous world wrote Blair's response is anyone's guess, but would it be too fantastical to imagine that his Science Minister may have been among those consulted in the process?