Azara Blog: The Lib Dems hate GM crops (surprise)

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Date published: 2007/11/09

The BBC says:

Ministers must not approve commercial planting of GM crops in England, until it is proved safe, say the Lib Dems.

Chris Huhne said responses to a Defra survey show planting should not be allowed until ministers can prove non-GM crops will not be contaminated.

Most respondents opposed Defra's plan to allow GM crops to be grown in fields at least 35m (114ft) from non-GM crops.

A Defra spokesman said they would await the results of three reports, due next spring, before plans are taken further.

No commercial GM crops are yet grown in the UK and are not expected for several years, but the government wants to have measures in place in England for the "coexistence" of GM, conventional and organic crops.

EU regulations state that food containing more than 0.9% of genetically modified ingredients have to be labelled as GM produce - even if they were grown as a conventional crop.

The government is proposing having compulsory separation distances between crops to minimise cross pollination of non-GM varieties.

And farmers intending to sow GM crops would be required to notify neighbouring farmers.

The three-month consultation attracted 11,676 responses - 11,442 from "members of the public".

Defra said about 80% were in the form of stock letters or petitions, which conveyed a "basic disagreement" with Defra's proposals and said 0.9% was too high and in organic produce, it should be less than 0.1%.

Chris Huhne and the Lib Dems (the party of the academic middle class) are not fit for office. Britain does not need a political party which is harking back to a medieval past, with a blatantly anti-scientific and anti-technological bias. There is no way to prove that anything is "safe" in the way any of the anti-GM zealots take this word to mean. In fact, with their definition, nothing in life is "safe", not even conventional farming (or getting out of bed in the morning). So this requirement is totally disingenuous, and Huhne knows it, yet he still insists on peddling this nonsense.

And the so-called public consultation was not representative of the public. No consultation is. The academic middle class is always way overrepresented. And people with an axe to grind are always way overrepresented. Here the so-called organic movement (whose members have a religious view of what should and should not be allowed in farming) will have been the one group that is way, way overrepresented, since they both have an axe to grind and are fully paid up members of the academic middle class. The general public, meanwhile, will have been way, way underrepresented. In fact, probably not represented at all.

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