Politicians chew the fat over GM food


26 February 1999


Politicians chew the fat over GM food

POLITICIANS are continuing to bicker between themselves in the debate on genetically modified (GM) food, judging by the coverage in todays papers (Friday).

The Guardian scoops the news stories with a genuine exclusive based on a questionnaire leaked to the paper from the Cabinet Office.

The questionnaire paints a picture of government confusion over GMs, asking other government departments 40 questions about how it the office should deal with inquiries on GM food.

On a more formal level, The Independent reports junior agriculture minister Lord Donoughue saying that the environmental implications of GM crops will be clearly explained at some future date.

The same paper reports that the prime minister sees no reason for an inquiry into the handling of GM foods.

The Independent also reports on the continued opposition attack on Lord Sainsbury, alleged to be “tainted” by his involvement with GM companies.

The letters column of the Financial Times provides a more interesting story.

One American writer points out that the US Food and Drug Administration took the abnormal step of exempting GM soya and maize from its normal testing procedure.

This was the result of a policy decision by the Reagan administration, says the letter writer, and raises a question mark about the implications for human health of GM products.

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