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Thread: GM Giant Quits Britain Amid Backlash

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    GM Giant Quits Britain Amid Backlash

    This is great news, but leads me to wonder how much of our imported foods are still touched by the hands of Monsanto and it's subsidiaries.

    The giant bio-tech firm Monsanto yesterday announced a major withdrawal from the UK amid intense opposition to genetically modified foods.
    The company, the leading multinational behind the production of GM crops, is closing its wheat growing operation, based in Cambridge.
    Officials said the move was partly due to the opposition to GM crops which has inspired the Daily Mail's campaign against so-called "Frankenstein Foods".
    Monsanto is also seeking to sell off crop-breeding centres in France, Germany and the Czech Republic.
    The move was widely seen as an indication that the company has given up hopes of introducing GM crops to Europe.
    Pete Riley, of Friends of the Earth, said last night: "If they are pulling out, we should rejoice."
    Monsanto's decision was made public on the eve of the Government's final announcement on the prospects for GM crop cultivation here.
    Earlier this week it was revealed that the Government's own research had found that GM farming would pollute the countryside for generations.
    Monsanto's Cambridge unit employed 125 people developing hybrid wheat varieties for the European market.
    The company bought the former Government Plant Breeding Institute from Unilever in 1998, declaring that GM crops would be established within five years.
    But a Monsanto spokesman said last night the expected business had "never materialised". Last month, Bayer CropScience pulled the plug on UK field trials, leaving just one company, Syngenta, actively pursuing GM here.
    The results of the Government research had been wdely seen as dealing a bodyblow to supporters of GM crops.
    Disturbing figures came from three separate studies conducted on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
    They showed that pollen contamination would spread far further than previously thought and "feral" growth of weed killer -proof plants from just one crop would persist for years.
    At the same time, the heavy use of chemicals associated with the crops could wipe out some bird species.
    The warnings followed the massive public suspicion of GM crops revealed by the Government's own national consultation.
    In an initiative involving hundreds of public meetings and 37,000 questionnaires, 93 per cent of respondents said not enough was known about the long-term effects of GM foods on health, while 86 per cent said they would not eat it.
    Concern about pollution of organic and other farms was mentioned by 95 per cent, while 93 per cent said GM technology was driven more by profit than public interest.
    There has also been concern over the close relationship between the Labour Government and Monsanto.
    David Hill, Tony Blair's new spin doctor, is a former adviser to Monsanto and Science Minister Lord Sainsbury holds a stake in a firm linked to Monsanto, which is handled by a blind trust.
    The GM row in Europe has escalated recently, with comments from EU environment commissioner Margaret Wallstrom that GM companies were lying and trying to force unsuitable crops on European farmland.
    The EU has been operating what is effectively a moratorium on GM crops, but has come under intense pressure from the US to allow them.
    Monsanto described the Cambridge closure as part of a global corporate restructuring.
    It will continue to promote its crop protection products here but is expected to focus its GM aspirations in China, South East Asia and South America.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-backlash.html

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    I just wish they'd be consequent with their opposition to GM. While they forbid growing of GM crops (EU is useful for something for once), they still allow import of GM food grown elsewhere. Sweetcorn and soyabeans from the US is all GM meanwhile (and isnt declared as such), farms in Africa get other crops for free to grow there, etc. We can only hope that Asia / China (lots of import from there too) and South America (mainly meat imported, fed with soyabeans and GM crops) will act to block out the GM stuff as well, else it just comes back in through the backdoor.

    Long live free trade, eh?
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    About time !!!

    Good is all I can say. About time that GM crops are finally getting out of our lives.

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