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GM approval would begin slippery slope - George

February 2, 2004 12:00 AM

Commenting on reports that the Government are to give the go-ahead to planting GM maize in the UK, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, Andrew George MP, said:

"This would be a momentous, irreversible decision which would take us down a slippery slope. The Government would be foolhardy to give the all clear to any GM crop with such strong public concern and scientific doubts.

"Decisions on GM should be based on sound science but it looks as though Ministers will be happy to base them on partial, hasty science. They seem to be prepared to throw the precautionary principle out of the window.

"If GM maize is approved the public will know once and for all that the Government just don't listen. Last year's GM Nation public debate would be seen as nothing more than window dressing and any faith in this year's Big Conversation would be lost.

"There has been nothing in recent reports that is likely to convince a highly sceptical public to change its mind. Rather than rushing headlong into a decision to grow GM crops in Britain, the Government should be commissioning independent research to address the still significant gaps in our knowledge of their environmental effects."