10 July 1998
Haskins urges `urgent co-operation on GMOs

There is an urgent need for regulatory bodies in north America and Europe to work together in deciding whether to approve genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Chris Haskins, chairman of the Governments UK Round Table on Sustainable Development, said.

Haskins, who is also chairman of Northern Foods and Express Dairies, said such foods could provide important benefits to third world countries but they were unnecessary for “rich people in Hampstead”.

And he called for a temporary ban on commercial plantings of genetically modified crops.

He made his remarks while launching a report on sustainable agriculture and rural policy. The report largely avoided the controversial question of GMOs but called for a “holistic” approach to rural policy.

Haskins also said farm buildings should now require planning permission ending 50 years of exemption.

The Labour peer called it disgraceful that farmers were free to erect barns, livestock accommodation and silos without going through procedures that people requiring a home extension had to observe.

  • The Daily Telegraph 10/07/98 page 15
  • Financial Times 10/07/98 page 8
  • The Times 10/07/98 page 11