Minister Backs Off
Bangkok Post, 29 August 2007
The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry retreated from its plan to seek cabinet approval yesterday for the lifting of the ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) crops.
Agriculture Minister Thira Sutabutra said the decision followed the fierce protests since he announced the plan earlier this month.
"It's hard to press ahead with this, but I will not give up because lifting the ban would benefit the country," he said.
Mr Thira reaffirmed that he still intended to ask the cabinet soon to revoke the April 13 resolution prohibiting GM crop field trials.
Witoon Lianchamroon, of the farm community rights group Biothai, said the ministry had underestimated public opposition to GM crops. Public Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla had also publicly opposed lifting the ban, he added.e