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GM Research Must Be Independent - George

March 8, 2005 12:00 AM

Commenting on the Government's announcement of £1billion worth of funding for biotechnology, Liberal Democrat Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, Andrew George MP said:

"I hope this isn't a sweetener in response to biotechnology companies' threats to withdraw from the UK.

"If taxpayers are being asked to support biotech research it should be targeted at the gaps in our knowledge of the effects of GM crops - on humans, animals and the environment.

"The Government's GM Science review in 2003, farm scale evaluation results and advice from various independent bodies demonstrate that there are still some serious holes in the evidence on the impact that GM crops could have on the UK, particularly in terms of biodiversity.

"As ever the devil of this funding will be in the detail and it is up to the Government to make sure that their spending will inform the scientific debate about GM crops and not fill the coffers of the biotech giants."