03 June 1999
Charles — was he right to speak out?

THE Prince of Waless criticism of genetically modified (GM) crops and food continues to stir up controversy in several of Britains newspapers.

Editorials in many papers question the whether it is right for the heir to the throne to enter the political arena by attacking the governments pro-GM stance.

But the Prince has won support from the Womens Institute which wants a five-year moratorium on the commercial growing and import of GM foods. Meanwhile, letter-writers to The Daily Telegraph and The Times continue to attack the scientists who support GM food.

Several take issue with their newspapers own editorial by supporting the Princes position as an independent voice.

In The Guardian, columnist George Monbiot, the well-known environmentalist, calls last weeks report on GM food by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics as “the most asinine biotechnology report ever written”.

The council, made up of respected scientists, controversially claimed there was a “moral imperative” to grow GM crops to fend off world hunger.

The problem of global famine is examined in detail in the science section of The Guardian which examines the technology and economics of world farming.

Noticeably, the Financial Times, which has often broken new stories over the last few months on GM crops, declines to report or comment on recent events.