'Qualman was cited as saying the move is likely linked to the battle the government had with some of its own scientists over the approval process for [Monsanto's GE] rBST.'
To relate this to a UK context see: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/thoughtpolice.htm
AG CANADA SCIENTISTS TOLD TO STOP TALKING DIRECTLY TO REPORTERS
The Evening News (New Glasgow)
WINNIPEG Ron Milito, chief of media relations for the Agriculture department in Ottawa was cited as insisting thaat a directive to stop Agriculture Canada scientists from speaking directly to reporters is not a gag order but is aimed at assisting reporters to find the right person to speak on various issues, adding, "In no way is this a gag order."
The story says that Milito refused to provide a copy of the directive, saying the only way to obtain it would be to request it through access-to-information legislation -a process that can take months and may or may not be successful.
National Farmers Union executive secretary Darrin Qualman was cited as charging that the government is trying to limit what the public hears on controversial issues such as the genetic manipulation of food, adding, "This is a government that's clearly trying to manipulate and restrict what comes out of their own research (and) what makes it into the public record."
The story says that scientists have been told to refer calls to a media representative who will determine who should respond, with Milito quoted as saying, "What we tried to do for this is make sure that reporters have one number to call. I thought that by doing that, by giving the one number to call we'd make sure that reporters got to the right spokesperson."
He said scientists were still free to talk to reporters at open-houses or field days at Agriculture Canada research stations.
Qualman was cited as saying the move is likely linked to the battle the government had with some of its own scientists over the approval process for rBST