11 April 2003
Nuffield Council to review GM report
Back in 1999 difficult issues like Pusztai's research and critical reports on GMOs from the likes of the BMA and Christian Aid were buried and rebutted by a series of reports attacking Pusztai and declaring GMOs a good thing for us all but not least the world's poor. The Royal Society and its close associates had a hand in every one of these reports.
One of these was the Nuffield report, on the committee of which sat the Vice President of the Royal Society along with Derek Burke. George Monbiot described it as, "perhaps the most asinine report on biotechnology ever written. The stain it leaves on the Nuffield Council's excellent reputation will last for years."
This wave of pro-GM reports followed a leak of a Cabinet memo calling for the the government's messages on GMOs to be "flagged" in the media by eminent scientists.
Now that the 'decisioon' on GM commercialisation is coming up fast, guess what? There's going to be a new Nuffield report. Oh, and there's going to be new reports from the Royal Society and Sense about Science looking at Pusztai and Chapela and the issue of peer review. Oh, and the Royal Society, famous for its rebuttal unit and its recent hyping of the skylark research, is going to be in charge of the publication of the Farm Scale Evaluations.
Nuffield Council to review GM report
via Crop Biotech Update 11 April 2003
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has announced that it will re-assess the conclusions and recommendations of its 1999 report, entitled Genetically Modified Crops: Ethical and Social Issues". This is being done in the light of recent developments particularly in developing countries.
Based on the evidence available in 1999, the Nuffield Council concluded that GM
crops could provide significant benefits to developing countries, provided that potential risks to health and the environment could be managed. Possible benefits included increased yields, enhanced pest resistance and tolerance to stress, improved nutrition, and new products, such as vaccines produced in crops.
However, there were several unanswered questions when the Council's report was published. A range of new scientific evidence is now available to help assess the potential of the technology. GM crops have been grown on a considerable number of smallholding farms in developing countries over the last three years. Recent trends in poverty and hunger in developing countries also need to be considered. Rural poverty has become an increasing concern, while at the same time improvements in crop yields have slowed.
The potential application of GM technology will be considered in the context of developments in regulation, trade, intellectual property rights and consumer attitudes.
The Council will publish a draft discussion paper on the topic for consultation in June 2003. The potential application of GM in developing countries is often neglected in the UK debate. It is hoped that the Council's paper will contribute to the national dialogue on GM taking place this year.
Visit http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/home for more information.
"What's going to happen the first time we hold an election in Iraq and it turns out the radicals win? What do you do? We're surely not going to let them take over." - Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to first President Bush
"Tam Dalyell, 41 years a member of the Commons, has said the Prime Minister is a war criminal who should be sent to The Hague. This is not gratuitous; on the prima facie evidence, Blair is a war criminal, and all those who have been, in one form or another, accessories should be reported to the International Criminal Court. Not only did they promote a charade of pretexts few now take seriously, they brought terrorism and death to Iraq. A growing body of legal opinion around the world agrees that the new court has a duty, as Eric Herring of Bristol University wrote, to investigate "not only the regime, but also the UN bombing and sanctions which violated the human rights of Iraqis on a vast scale". Add the present piratical war, whose spectre is the uniting of Arab nationalism with militant Islam. The whirlwind sown by Blair and Bush is just beginning. Such is the magnitude of their crime." - John Pilger http://pilger.carlton.com/print
"...if the Bush regime were to fall, there would be dancing on the streets the world over." - Arundhati Roy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
PROTEST THE WAR - PROTEST THE CORRUPTION OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS
from Schnews: The Labour Party have a Freepost address, which means they have to pay the postage on anything you send them. Please don't send bricks or heavy phone directories to: The Labour Party, FREEPOST LON 10417, London, SW1P 4UT. All the local party offices also have freepost addresses that can be found on election leaflets
THE PARTY IS IN THE POCKETS OF THE RICH AND POWERFUL
'Mark Seddon, a member of Labour's National Executive Committee, claimed such donations [as those of Lord Sainsbury] were causing Labour to lose members amid criticism from the grassroots that the party was now "in the pockets of the powerful and the rich".
He told the Today programme: "In any other country I think a government minister donating such vast amounts of money and effectively buying a political party would be seen for what it is, a form of corruption of the political process." '