EXTRACT: Wales is in the European mainstream in having declared ourselves GM free. At least 174 regions, more than 4,500 councils and local governments and tens of thousands of farmers and food producers across Europe are with us.
--- Don't be taken in by GMO publicity
by Jill Evans
Western Mail, August 19 2008
[Jill Evans MEP is a member of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament]
THE whole subject of genetically modified crops and food (GMOs) seems to have been getting more and more coverage in the media in recent months. To read some of the stories you would be forgiven for thinking that GM technology could be the answer to most of the world’s problems!
Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is vital that we guard against complacency as the pro-GM lobby mounts a concerted campaign to win over an increasingly sceptical public.
We must not fall for the publicity of the large biotechnology companies promoting GMOs for their own profits. Amongst other things they would have us believe that their products may be an easy solution for rising food prices. This is an increasingly familiar tale that we heard repeated recently at the Royal Welsh Show.
Supporters of GMOs know that public and political opinion is massively opposed to their commercial exploitation. This is true not just in Wales, but across the UK and the rest of Europe, with deadlock in the European Union's Council of Ministers blocking the use of new GMOs on a European level.
People have listened to the arguments and based on common sense and reason have decided to say no to GMOs. It is disgraceful that wealthy multinational companies are now preying on people's worries about the rising cost of living to try and change minds on GMOs.
Wales is in the European mainstream in having declared ourselves GM free. At least 174 regions, more than 4,500 councils and local governments and tens of thousands of farmers and food producers across Europe are with us.
We must support our farmers in promoting Welsh produce and ensuring that they get the assistance needed to develop sustainable farming and regenerate our rural areas. Our GM free status actually represents a boost to Welsh agriculture and is in tune with what farmers and consumers want. We cannot put this at risk.