Friday 4th January 2013
GeneWatch UK warned today that All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture is being used by Monsanto and other GM companies to lobby on behalf of their business interests (1). Funders of the group include the industry body the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), which represents the major GM crop companies (BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer (DuPont), Monsanto and Syngenta).
GeneWatch is highlighting the role of the group following revelations in the Times this week that many All-Party Parliamentary Groups are being funded by commercial interests, and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson's speech in favour of commercial growing of GM crops in Britain.
George Freeman, MP, who chairs the parliamentary group, was appointed as Government Life Science Advisor by the Prime Minister and the Science Minister David Willetts in July 2011. Freeman chaired a meeting between the GM industry and ministers on 26th June 2012 to discuss a plan prepared by the ABC to promote GM crops in Britain (2,3).
"It is clear that ministers have done a dodgy deal with the GM industry to promote GM crops in Britain and that lobbying in parliament is not led by the interests of constituents" said GeneWatch UK's Director, Dr Helen Wallace. "This is a bad deal for consumers and for farmers who will have to pay the extra costs of segregation to maintain more valuable non-GM supplies. In the USA, resistant superweeds and superpests are on the increase as a result of growing GM crops. Farmers are locked in to paying ever higher prices for patented GM seeds as companies withhold non-GM varieties".
For further information contact:
Dr Helen Wallace: 01298-24300 (office): 07903-311584 (mobile).
Notes for Editors:
(1) GM industry fund parliamentary group to promote return of GM crops to Britain. GeneWatch UK Press Release. 27th November 2012.http://www.genewatch.org/article.shtml?als[cid]=569457&als[itemid]=571543
(2) Monsanto meets ministers to push return of GM crops to Britain. GeneWatch UK and GM Freeze Press Release. 25th October 2012. http://www.genewatch.org/article.shtml?als[cid]=569457&als[itemid]=571449
(3) Going for Growth roundtable discussion, Tuesday 26th June 2012, BIS Conference Centre. Attendees on: http://tinyurl.com/9jbce4g . Agenda on: http://tinyurl.com/8ahylza . Summary on: http://tinyurl.com/92rrajn