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GM decisions should not be made behind closed doors - George

February 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Commenting on reports that the Government are on the verge of making a policy decision on GM, Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Food and Rural Affairs Secretary said:

"Given public, political and environmental concerns about GM, it would be the height of irresponsibility for the Government not to give MPs the opportunity to debate what could be a momentous and irreversible decision.

"DEFRA are taking incremental steps towards backing GM and once again look like eroding public confidence in the political process.

"Some key decisions have already been taken. An unelected quango, the Food Standards Agency, voted in Brussels last December to approve GM maize for importation to be processed for food.

"Then, in January, DEFRA recommended to the EU that GM rice should be approved for the same purpose.

"The Government are trying to sleep-walk the country into acceptance of GMs without a single debate in Government time.

"They must stop their policy of taking decisions behind our backs and give us open Government, a substantive motion and a vote in the House."