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Government to stage-manage GM policy statement - George

February 19, 2004 1:41 PM

Bales of hay in a field.The Government are planning to give the go ahead for GM crops to be grown in Britain, and intend to stage-manage their policy statement to Parliament, according to a leaked memo.

The document SCI(BIO) states:

Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, said:

"This document shows that the Government are treating people's concerns about GM with contempt, and skew parliamentary discussion to favour biotech giants.

"If the public realised what was being decided in their name, there would be uproar. The Government has already been taking small steps towards licensing GM, but the cumulative effect will be a momentous and irreversible decision.

"Instead of coming to Parliament with a statement, they should be allowing MPs to debate a policy motion before making any decision with potentially harmful environmental effects.

"Their plan to link the growing of GM crops in the UK to the future of the developing world is a particularly cynical ploy.

"Crops grown here will not help feed the world's poor. The inclusion of that issue, and the briefing of MPs with interests in that field is to purely a credibility crutch."