Gordon Brown and other EU leaders in campaign to promote modified foods
Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal.
The documents – minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments – disclose plans to “speed up” the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to “deal with” public resistance to them.
And they show that the leaders want “agricultural representatives” and “industry” – presumably including giant biotech firms such as Monsanto – to be more vocal to counteract the “vested interests” of environmentalists.
– Exposed: the great GM crops myth
– The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see
– At stake is no less than control of the world’s food supply.
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News of the secret plans is bound to create a storm of protest at a time when popular concern about GM technology is increasing, even in countries that have so far accepted it.
Public opposition has prevented any modified crops from being grown in Britain. France, one of only three countries in Europe to have grown them in any amounts, has suspended their cultivation, and resistance to them is rising rapidly in the other two, Spain and Portugal.
The embattled biotech industry has been conducting a public relations campaign based round the highly contested assertion that genetic modification is needed to feed the world. It has had some success in the Government, where ministers have been increasingly speaking out in favour of the technology, and in the European Commission, with which its lobbyists have boasted of having “excellent working relations”.