Yet more from the bold UK consumer watchdog with his snout lovingly up industry's backside:
"But the Food Standards Agency is unlikely to oppose the introduction of more GM food production. Officials say nowhere has it been shown that growing or eating GMOs is harmful, and that the process is only a way of speeding up traditional methods of plant improvement through breeding. Chairman Sir John Krebs says he is convinced the public will readily accept them as soon as the benefits can be demonstrated."
But meantime the watchdog, which is working with Blair to block the EU's extension of GM labelling for consumers, is barking loud about inaccurate labelling of pub grub!!! (see item 2)
Meanwhile, a major survey into the eating habits and food concerns of people in Ireland, for Agri Aware, found consumers remain concerned about GM foods and would be prepared to pay more to be assured of quality and traceability.
EU Commissioner, David Byrne has reassured the Irish that they will have a clear choice:
"Whether it's someone's food or jar of stout, we will have the labels out there that will allow you to choose what you want". ['Labels to ease concern over GM foods', Irish Independent, 10th October 2001]
Not if Krebs and Blair get their way, you won't!
1. Pressure Increases To Grow GM Crops: Farmers Fear Restrictions Are Handing Commercial Advantage To Americans
2. Food Standards Agency cracks down on misleading menus
1. Pressure Increases To Grow GM Crops
Farmers Fear Restrictions Are Handing Commercial Advantage To Americans
Western Daily Press; October 8, 2001
BRITISH farmers could soon be growing an increased acreage of GM crops under proposals being put forward by Brussels. All 15 member states will be urged to lift a three-year moratorium on approving new GM varieties at a special meeting next week, amid fears that America will soon become dominant in both production and technology.
No new GMOs have been approved for use here since 1998. Britain is still in the middle of an extensive programme of field-scale trials, which is not scheduled for completion until 2003. And so far only 13 GMOs have been approved for food use in Europe compared with 50 in the US and Canada. The fear is that the varieties of maize, oilseed rape and other crops developed by companies such as Monsanto for resistance to pests or herbicides or for other special growing properties will soon become dominant in world seed markets.
And despite environmentalists' fears of cross-pollination with non-GM plants, including wild ones, scientists argue that because many GMOs can be produced using fewer pesticides, they are actually kinder to wildlife. Meanwhile, farmers who plant them obtain an even bigger margin of efficiency over competitors in countries such as Britain, where conventional crops still dominate the market. Many supermarkets have already removed GM products under the pressure of massive consumer opposition fuelled by campaigns led by groups such as Friends of the Earth. Many have now extended their labelling to show that chickens, for example, have been raised on non-GM feeds.
But the Food Standards Agency is unlikely to oppose the introduction of more GM food production. Officials say nowhere has it been shown that growing or eating GMOs is harmful, and that the process is only a way of speeding up traditional methods of plant improvement through breeding. Chairman Sir John Krebs says he is convinced the public will readily accept them as soon as the benefits can be demonstrated.
But Friends of the Earth says the EU is disregarding genuine public health concerns by trying to rush ahead. Campaigner Adrian Bebb said: "The public will resist having these products forced upon them."
Farmers are likely to welcome the EU's move. They say it is now impossible to compete in the global market while Britain piles up the welfare legislation and environmental controls on their activities. Livestock farmers' regional spokesman Richard Haddock said: "The Government tell us farming must be prepared to change and compete with global market forces. The real change needs to come from Government."
2. Food Standards Agency cracks down on misleading menus [shortened]
From Leisure & Hospitality Business, 13 August 2001
The Food Standards Agency has begun a three-month consultation to crack down on restaurants, pubs and hotels that mislead customers with false menus and food labels. A two year report by the Food Advisory Committee, which concluded in July, found consumers are misled by food manufacturers and restaurants with words such as 'traditional', 'homemade' and 'fresh'. The FSA is considering the report and will issue new industry standards in October which promise stricter enforcement to protect consumers. The measures will include spot-checks and advice to local authorities.