GM scientist in Queens honours list
by Johann Tasker
PROFESSOR Nigel Poole, the scientist who developed the genetically modified (GM) tomato, was awarded an OBE yesterday in the Queens Birthday Honours.
Professor Poole, external and regulatory affairs manager for Zeneca Plant Science, was given the award for services to the biotechnology industry.
Ealier this year, he was pictured on the front of The Daily Telegraph saying he had eaten GM tomatoes “for years” before his GM tomato puree reached the shop shelves.
Professor Poole had undertaken the stunt in an attempt to reassure the public that GM crops were safe to eat.
But his action caused some people to question whether he had broken the law – probably because the seed from the tomatoes could have survived digestion.
There were suggestions that the GM seed from the tomatoes could have germinated if it had been spread on to fields in the form of sewage sludge.
Environment minister Michael Meacher later said in a written parliamentary answer that no environmental safety legislation had been breached.
Other notable awards announced yesterday included an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for the scientist who created Dolly the sheep.
Professor Ian Wilmut, project leader at the Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, was given the award for services to embryo development.
He led the team of scientists who created Dolly the first mammal in the world cloned from an adult cell.
Professor Wilmuts team at Roslin is now working on cloning piglets with the aim of developing pig organs which can be used for human transplants.
He said the award was an important boost for genetic engineering and agriculture which has faced severe criticism in the media over recent months.
Further notable honours included John Barclay Forrest, chairman of British Cereal Exports, who was awarded an OBE for services to UK cereals exports.
Grenville Ethelbert Welsh was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the pig industry.
Other awards included Professor Ian Bremner, deputy director of the Rowett Research Institute, who was awarded an OBE for services to biological science.
Ernest Robin Asprey, lately Grade Seven of the Intervention Board, was also awarded an OBE.
Scottish farmer Mungo Bryson, was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture and the Kirkudbright community.
Anthony Nicholas George Duckworth-Chad was awarded an OBE for services to the Country Landowners Association and to the rural community.
Robert James Leslie Craig was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture and the community.
Hugh Roger Dyas was awarded an OBE for services to research and development in the sugar beet sector.
Walter Elliot, JP, was awarded an OBE for services to farming.
Brian Sidney Pack, chief executive of the ANM Group Ltd, was awarded an OBE for services to the agriculture, food and marketing industries in Scotland.
Christopher Harry Stratton, chairman of the forestry commissions Regional Advisory committee for the Midlands and East England, was awarded an OBE for services to forestry.
Major Philip George Verdin was awarded an OBE for services to the Royal British Legion and agriculture in Hertfordshire.
James MacMillan Anderson was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to organic farming.
John Lothian Anderson, lately senior agricultural economist at the Scottish Agricultural College, was awarded an MBE for services to agriculture.
Thomas Longstaff Balmer, farm worker, was awarded an MBE for services to traditional farming skills and methods.
An MBE was also awarded to June Sylvia Brady, lately support manager for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Anne-Marie Brown, who is currently support manager for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, was similarly awarded an MBE.
Farm manager John Doak, of Balig Farm, Ayrshire, was awarded an MBE for services to agriculture.
George Bernard Lawrence was awarded an MBE for services to the agricultural community and to young people in Cheshire
Helen Janet Crichton McCullock was awarded an MBE for services to the Farmers Club, London.
John McGowan, lately Laboratory Analyst at the Scottish Agricultural College, was awarded an MBE for services to agriculture and to employee relations.
Clare Morpurgo and Michael Morpurgo, both co-founders of Farms for City Children, were each awarded an MBE for services to young people.
Farmer Joseph Glyn Thomas was awarded an MBE for services to the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
Alan Wilson was awarded an MBE for services to horticulture.
Fiona Frances McNeile, secretary of the royal farms at Windsor, was made a Member of the Victorian Order.
David James Benefer, glasshouse manager at the Sandringham Estate, received a Royal Victorian Medal.
The chairman of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, Peter Robin Crane, was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to wildlife conservation.