GM debate a 'fiasco'

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom

The proposed public debate in the UK into GM crops and food is
becoming a fiasco said environmental campaigners Friends of the
Earth this week after Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Mike German
called for the debate to be delayed until summer 2003.

The proposed public debate in the UK into GM crops and food is becoming a fiasco said environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth this week after Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Mike German called for the debate to be delayed until summer 2003.

In a letter to GM debate chair Professor Malcolm Grant, German said: "Two or three months is the sort of time scale envisaged and we think that any lessening of that time scale could seriously undermine its purpose."

According to Friends of the Earth Mike German also supports the view that the public debate should include the results of the Farm Scale Evaluations due to be published in July this year.

Calls for a delay in timetable for the debate to allow more time were echoed by representatives from Scotland and Wales at yesterday's meeting of the steering board.

Friends of the Earth Food and Farming Campaigner Pete Riley commented: "Mrs Beckett's { DEFRA Secretary Margaret Beckett} idea that the debate should be done and dusted by June is looking very unlikely and the whole process is a fiasco.

There is just not sufficient time left to allow the public time to engage with what is a complex scientific, economic , social and ethical issue. She should heed the advice of her counterpart in Wales and delay until the summer."

Related topics: Ingredients

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