Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Genetically modified crops, secrecy, lack of democracy,UK Government and GM crops.

'Friends of The Earth' commented on their website that public companies have to maximise profit and keep investors happy. This means economic growth comes before people and the planet. They also stated that many corporates were now more powerful than governments. Both of these assertions are undoubtedly true but the fact that corporates are more powerful than governments doesn't necessarily mean that there is not an enthusiasm on the part of governments to accomodate the demands of corporates.

Our own UK government is hell bent on introducing GM crops into the UK, in direct opposition to the wishes of the majority of the population. The purpose, they tell us is to create more economic growth. Yet the experts (and common sense) tell us that economic growth will create more environmental damage and global warming.

In October 2007 newspapers described how the government was concealing its support for biotech research. This support involved funding genetically modified crop projects with scores of millions of pounds every year and colluding with a biotech company to ease its GM tests.

The documents which revealed this information were obtained through the freedom of information act and showed that the government colluded with a biotech company in setting conditions for testing GM potatos. In other words DEFRA officials repeatedly went to remarkable lengths to make sure that the trial conditions supposed to protect the environment and farmers, were 'agreeable' to the company.

FOE obtained information which showed that the government provides at least £50 million a year for research into biotechnology, largely GM crops and food. This in stark contrast to £1.6million given in 2006 for research into organic agriculture.

We always come back to the same question. 'Who really stands to gain from the introduction of GM crops?'

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