"Of course, this issue has an economic dimension which is of crucial importance... There is the sniff of the born-again Luddite in the air, and that could be destructive to our future as a trading country" -Lord Bragg, President of the Science Media Centre supported by Lord Sainsbury [http://www.i-sis.org/i-sisnews7-17.shtml]
According to a report in the trade publication, The Grocer, the head of Northern Foods has slammed the organic movement as "a place where aristocrats take refuge".
It would have been more to the point if, Lord Haskins, had identified New Labour as the refuge of scoundrels, or atleast self-interested biobiz enthusiasts. Lords Haskins, along with Science Minister Lord Sainsbury and GM-humans entusiast Lord Winston being three of the most prominent Blair-backers in the Lords.
Haskins promotes the organic slander campaign: "Let the heir to the throne enjoy his excellent if somewhat risky organic food [...] let the poor, starving people of the world have access to safe, affordable food - which GM food will probably offer them."
This is presumably a taster of the gems to come when Haskins speaks on consumer issues at the University of London/US Embassy's May conference "Seeds of Opportunity: The Role of Biotechnology in Agriculture." The 'Commentator' for that session, appropriately, is Clive Beddall of The Grocer.
Man of principal, Lord Haskins, reluctantly had his company remove GM ingredients in response to customer preference. Below he attacks retailers for showing the same concern about their customers.
UK: Northern Foods' Haskins slams organics movement, supports GM food
26 Feb 2001
Source: just-food.com editorial team
Lord Haskins, non-executive chairman of Northern Foods and chairman of the UK government's Better Regulation Task Force, has criticised the organics movement, saying it: "seeks to ban most scientific nnovation and appears to have replaced the Church of England as a place where aristocrats take refuge rom the real world."
According to a report in the Grocer trade publication, Haskins, a known advocate of GM food, said that concern over the BSE crisis, fuelled by often spurious media scare stories, had created a climate "where scientific progress, notably with GM food, is being denied by affluent, educated middle class pressure roups."
Reiterating one of the key arguments advanced by biotech companies such as Monsanto, Haskins mentioned the potential role of GM food in fighting starvation in developing countries. In a caustic reference to the Prince of Wales, as strong supporter of organic food, Haskins continued: "Let the heir to the throne enjoy his excellent if somewhat risky organic food [...] let the poor, starving people of the world have access to safe, affordable food - which GM food will probably offer them.
Unusually, considering he was speaking at a dinner hosted by the Provision Trade Federation, Haskins also spoke out strongly against retailers and manufacturers who "in a knee-jerk response banned the use of GM ingredients in their products."