1.Krebs comes a cropper - springs a leek
2.New LM WATCH blog

For more on Krebs:

1.Eco sounding
John Vidal and Paul Brown
The Guardian [excerpts only]
Wednesday April 27, 2005,7843,1470729,00.html

Coming a cropper

Sir John Krebs, departing first head of the [UK's] Food Standards Agency (FSA), went out of his way to be beastly about organic foods and was a great supporter of GM crops. But did he overstep the mark and undermine the agency in doing so? The Soil Association, for one, always said yes, and now an independent review of the FSA seems to support it. Here is an extract from Baroness Brenda Dean's report: "The vast majority of people consulted felt that the FSA had deviated from its normal stance of making statements based solely on scientific evidence" [when speaking against organic food and for GM food]. "This view was expressed not only by stakeholders representing organic and GM interest groups, but by those who would be regarded as supporters and natural allies of the agency." The Dean review has been tucked away on the FSA website:

Springing a leek

Incidentally, Sir John Krebs becomes principal of Jesus College, Oxford, which used to be known as the "Welsh college" because most of its students, masters and benefactors came from there. Coincidentally, the Welsh are the most implacably opposed country in Europe to GM crops.

2.New LM WATCH blog

Welcome to the new SpinWatch blog LM WATCH

LM WATCH is a collaborative effort aimed at tracking the LM network - former members and supporters of Frank Furedi's Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), plus more recent acolytes.

Although originally a tiny splinter of a Trotskyist subgroup, Furedi and his followers now promote an extreme libertarian ideology and eulogise technologies like nuclear power, genetic engineering and human cloning.  

The reason for wanting to stay alert to their activities is that, in order to punch above their weight, they often hide their affiliations and engage in infiltration of media organisations or operate via front groups or by colonising existing lobby groups. 

The primary channels for promoting the network's ideology, since their LM magazine was sued out of existence, are Spiked-online and the Institute of Ideas (IoI), both of which have been successful in drawing support from major foundations , transnational corporations and even government funding bodies.

But beyond this members of the LM network have managed to gain a remarkable degree of control over certain aspects of the formal infrastructure of public communication used by the science and medical establishment. They hold key positions in Sense About Science, the Science Media Centre, the Genetic Interest Group, the Progress Educational Trust, Genepool, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and even the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

They have used these positions, in the words of Guardian columnist George Monbiot, 'to promote the interests of pharmaceutical and biotech companies and to dismiss the concerns of the public and non-governmental organisations'.

[SpinWatch exists to provide public interest research and reporting on corporate and government public relations and propaganda.]