17 May 2000
Prince Charles warns of GM disaster
By FWi staff
PRINCE Charles is set to call for more investment in traditional farming and launch another attack on the “potentially disastrous consequences” of GM crops.
The Prince will use the platform of a BBC Reith lecture, to be broadcast on Radio 4, to claim the rush into GM technology means “literally nothing is sacred”.
During the speech, on Wednesday (27 May), the Prince will accuse scientists and biotechnology companies of treating the world like a giant laboratory.
He is scathing about the amount of money spent on GM technology and will calls for more investment in traditional agriculture, reports the Daily Mail.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Prince will say that a world which ignores the “essential unity” of the living and spiritual worlds is doomed.
Prince Charles is no stranger to the controversy surrounding GM crops, having first voiced his concerns about the subject five years ago.
His latest comments come as Friends of the Earth (FoE) claimed that honey bought from an area where GM crops were grown last year contains GM pollen.
A jar of honey and honeycomb sent to Austria for tests was found to contain oilseed rape grown by biotech company Aventis, reports The Telegraph.
FoE, which refused to identify the company whose honey was involved, says the bees picked up the pollen two miles from their hives.
Beekeepers have been advised to move hives at least six miles from GM sites.
A spokesman for Aventis told The Guardian he could not comment in detail until it knew more about the test methods.
But he said the results “run diametrically contrary to everything we have to do to date with bees”.
FoE also hits the headlines over alleged links to instructions circulated by email on how to damage GM crops and take terrify farmers holding trials.
The message says that direct action is “the most wonderful and liberating experience” reports The Times.
Protestors are advised to frighten farmers and goad them into reaction by operating at night wearing masks and carrying scythes.
Some people received the email from the email address of a leading figure in the FoE Swindon branch, reports the newspaper.
The branch spokeswoman said she was not the author, and FoE London said it did not advocate any direct action against crops or farmers.
Biotech companies have complained for some time that farmers holding trials have been intimidated by protestors.
- Rethink ahead on GM cordon, FWi, 30 September, 1999
- Public backs Prince over GMs, FWi, 02 June, 1999
- Prince launches attack on GM crops, FWi, 08 June, 1998
- Naturalness Of honey safe with bee-keepers? FWi, 20 March, 1998
- Daily Mail 17/05/2000 pages 1, 6
- Daily Telegraph 17/05/2000 page 1, 2
- The Times 17/05/2000 page 1, 6
- The Guardian 17/05/2000 page 3