The following letter from GM WATCH was published in today's Guardian in response to press reports of the letter from Derek Burke and others to Tony Blair.
The Times reported it like this, "More than 100 leading scientists have made a once-in-a-generation appeal to Tony Blair to save British science". The Times piece also refers to "114 eminent researchers", and says that they provide a complete cross-section of the scientific community. ("Scientists test Blair and find him wanting")
Nothing could be further from the truth. What's so interesting - and encouraging! - is that the signatories come from a very narrow and self-serving sector of the scientific community. Indeed, a considerable number of the signatories come from just two scientific institutes - institutes with notable financial ties to the biotech industry.
"The best scientists will work with industry," proclaims Professor Chris Leaver (Scientists complain GM debate was mishandled, November 1). In which case, the ones who wrote to Tony Blair must be luminaries. The letter's signatories read like a roll call of special interests. Take, for instance, Dr Martin Livermore. He runs an agri-food PR consultancy, prior to which, he did PR for DuPont. He is also part of the anti-environmental Scientific Alliance, as are several other signatories. Yet more belong to the biotech industry funded, pro-GM lobby group, Cropgen. Roll over, Gregor Mendel. A new breed of scientist is at work.