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GM AND MODIFICATION IMPLICATIONS.


"Contamination from GM crops threatens the drive to increase organic food production", Michael Meacher, the former environment minister, reported before he lost his position as environment minister.

he said "The coexistence of organic and GM crops is a very real problem, whatever decisions the government comes to about the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain, it has to be compatible with allowing the growth of organics."
About 30% of the organic produce consumed in Britain is grown in the U.K. The government wants to increase this to 70% by 2010, and yesterday it issued the first progress report on this.

Mr Meacher said "Tesco, the UK's largest food retailer, sold organic food worth £250m a year, and plans to sell £1bn a year by 2005/6"

GM
Ex Labour Environment minister
recently speaks out


After leaving the Cabinet in June 2003, Mr Micheal Meacher has recently accused the Government of "playing down the Health Risks of G.M food".

Specifically he seams to be worried about MP's ignoring or playing down the importance of work by figures such as Dr Arpad Pusztai who has been recently working on the effects and implications on G.M Potatoes.

Evidence dismissal.
The Evidence is piling up all over the world as to the potential dangers and unknown effects of Genetic Modification on our Environment and the Public,s health.

But our Government seems to be playing down dangers and even dismissing evidence from a number of sources, including the Food Standards Agency as to the unknown possible problems which Genetic Modification could cause.

All super markets in Britain had a no-GM policy. Though consumers might be opposed to GM crops, he added, it was impossible under EU rules for Britain to stop them being grown commercially, unless it found health or environmental evidence they were harmful. Ethical or moral reasons did not count.


FRUSTRATION?

This admission of possible Contamination from GM crops has frustrated anti-GM campaigners, weeks before the government- sponsored debate on the growing of GM crops in Britain begins. If the UK has no alternative, this debate is pointless, they say. The government says it will take full account of the views of the Public when coming to a decision.

Mr Meacher said that the government was waiting for a report from the advisory body, the agriculture and environment biotechnology commission, on how to make combining GM, organic and conventional farming possible.

This included the distance between crops, to avoid cross contamination by pollen, and compensation for farmers whose crops might be made un saleable as a result of their proximity to GM crops.

ORGANIC STANDARDS
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The government report on organics showed that, since 1996, the area had risen from 25,000 hectares to 250,000 last year, although 27% of this was in conversion from conventional crops. Organic farmers had grown from 900 to 4,000 in the same period.

About 4% of agricultural land was organic, and it was a £1bn a year business, Mr Meacher said. The government favoured organic production: it used less energy, caused less pollution to air and water, and less nitrate loss from soil.

Some good News:
Cornwall Council has decided to go GM free as from now, this is a real good news success story for the campaign for England to follow Wales in a stand for a U.K wide G.M free policy.

 

 


 
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