Biohazard Biohazard

UK GM Public Debate

(Last updated 22 April 2004)
Genetically Modified Food - News


22 April 2004 - South West counties go GM free (FoE) All six county councils in the South West region 
have now passed policies opposing GM crops
15 April 2004 - Food firms reject GM ingredients as tougher GM food labels come into force (FoE)
15 April 2004 - Despairing GM firms halt crop trials (Guardian, UK)
31 March 2004 - Bayer CropScience discontinues GM forage maize in the UK (Bayer CropScience)
31 March 2004 - Bayer deals blow to GM crops (BBC News) GM crop growing has been shelved for the 
'forseeable future', according to the government.
31 March 2004 - GM giant abandons bid to grow crops in Britain (Independent, UK)
31 March 2004 - Biotech Firm Scraps GM Maize Growing Plans (PA News)
30 March 2004 - Beckett is blamed as Bayer bins GM plan (Financial Times, UK)
24 March 2004 - GM maize sunk by Welsh Assembly (GM Free Cymru)
22 March 2004 - Councillor plans to halt GM maize (BBC News)
10 March 2004 - Anti-GM movement vows to fight maize approval (Guardian, UK)
9 March 2004 - UK Government ignores science, parliament and public concerns about GM crops (GeneWatch UK)
9 March 2004 - Government ignores South West concerns over GM (GM Free South West)
9 March 2004 - Wales refuses GM agreement (BBC News)
7 March 2004 - Scotland defies Blair and puts block on GM (Sunday Herald, UK)
6 March 2004 - MPs revolt against GM plans (Independent, UK)
5 March 2004 - Study could delay GM crops until 2010 (Guardian, UK)
5 March 2004 - MPs urge ban on GM maize pending further tests (Independent, UK)
5 March 2004 - Cabinet decision over GM maize provokes anger from environmental campaigners (Independent, UK)
5 March 2004 - MPs warn against 'irresponsible' GM decision (e-politix)
5 March 2004 - Prime Minister reaps fury over GM crops go-ahead (Daily Record)
4 March 2004 - Five Year Freeze renews commitment to a moratorium on GM (FYF)
29 February 2004 - Cereal killer: GM giant culls top jobs in Europe (Independent on Sunday, UK)
29 February 2004 - GM crops roll-out is blighted as MPs prepare to challenge No 10 (Independent, UK)
29 February 2004 - MPs to reject Government GM commercialisation plans (FoE)
26 February 2004 - GM crops delayed by at least a year after cabinet leak (Guardian, UK)
21 February 2004 - Government face GM legal threat (Reuters)
20 February 2004 - Blair wavers over introduction of GM crops (NetDoctor)
20 February 2004 - Expert condemns 'fake' GM science (The Journal)
20 February 2004 - GM - The great betrayal (Daily Mail, UK)
20 February 2004 - Why are they foisting GM crops on us? (Independent,UK)
19 February 2004 - Anger over GM crop 'go-ahead' (BBC News)
19 February 2004 - Call to block Scottish GM crops (BBC News)
19 February 2004 - Letter to Margaret Beckett (Independent Science Panel)
17 February 2004 - Oxfordshire votes to ban GM crops (BBC News)
16 February 2004 - Oxfordshire County Council decides GM free future (FoE)
11 February 2004 - Scandal of Labour's GM go-ahead (Guardian, UK)
9 February 2004 - Wales blocks go-ahead for Britain's first GM crop (Guardian, UK)
13 January 2004 - GM crops should now be banned (RSPB)
13 January 2004 - Biotech companies should withdraw GM crop applications (GeneWatch)
13 January 2004 - Soil Association response to ACRE report (Soil Association)
13 January 2004 - GM experts cautious on maize crop (BBC News)
9 December 2003 - UK defeat on move to widen GM food sales (Guardian, UK)
8 December 2003 - UK votes to allow sale of GM sweet corn, but EU moratorium on GM remains in place (FYF)
15 November 2003 - National Trust Members vote to go GM Free (FoE)
31 October 2003 - GM Scientists Must Face Reality (FoE)
21 October 2003 - British Government Seen Postponing GM Decision (Reuters)
21 October 2003 - MPs demand GM crops debate (ic)
19 October 2003 - No support from the public. No evidence. No case for GM (Independent, UK)
17 October 2003 - Papers scent trouble for GM (BBC News)
16 October 2003 - GM tests show danger to wildlife (BBC News)
16 October 2003 - GM test results already in doubt (BBC News)
16 October 2003 - GM crops harmful to wildlife: Another reason to halt commercialisation (GeneWatch UK)
16 October 2003 - Report on GM crops is damning (Evening Standard, UK)
16 October 2003 - GM crops can be worse for environment (New Scientist)
14 October 2003 - Scientists uncover risks in GM oil seed rape (Guardian, UK)
14 October 2003 - Curb on GM crop trials after insect pollution (Daily Telegraph, UK)
14 October 2003 - GM crops unlikely to remain contained, study shows (Independent, UK)
12 October 2003 - How GM crop trials were rigged (Independent, UK)
25 September 2003 - UK public opposes government on transgenic crops (Nature)
25 September 2003 - GM crops? No thanks (Independent, UK)
24 September 2003 - Most Britons oppose GM crops (BBC News)
24 September 2003 - Government-sponsored debate rejects GM food and crops (FoE)
24 September 2003 - Britons don't want GM crops - survey (Guardian, UK)
24 September 2003 - Public still have no appetite for GM food (Five Year Freeze)
24 September 2003 - British public says 'no' to GMs (Farmers Weekly)
10 September 2003 - The GM National Debate Farce (ISIS)
8 September 2003 - UK government should delay decision on GM crops - study (Reuters)
8 September 2003 - Public panels concerned by GM (BBC News)
24 August 2003 - Probe into 'bullying' of GM panel scientists (Observer, UK)
24 August 2003 - Blair forced to scale back his plan to introduce GM farming (Independent, UK)
26 July 2003 - The GM plot: Scientist tried to sabotage work of top academic who is a sceptic (Independent, UK)
26 July 2003 - Alert on spread of GM seeds (Guardian, UK)
25 July 2003 - Blair urged to identify Government scientific advisor who threatened anti-GM scientist (Soil Association)
25 July 2003 - GM warning to trial farmers (BBC News)
22 July 2003 - Sceptics unconvinced as agribusiness welcomes opportunity to move forward (Independent, UK)
22 July 2003 - GM inquiry exposed as top scientist quits (Daily Mail, UK)
21 July 2003 - GeneWatch UK response to the GM science review (GeneWatch)
18 July 2003 - New blow to Government on GM food as public debate confirms scepticism (Independent, UK)
18 July 2003 - Public suspicion forces GM rethink (Guardian, UK)
18 July 2003 - Alternative GM debate launched (Daily Mirror, UK)
17 July 2003 - GM Public Debate ends - now Government must act on the results (Five Year Freeze)
16 July 2003 - Shops unlikely to stock GM food (Guardian, UK)
11 July 2003 - GM crops not worth growing (ITV News)
11 July 2003 - Science review panel struggles to reach agreement on risks of GM technology (Independent, UK)
11 July 2003 - No good reason to pursue GM crop commercialisation in the UK now (GeneWatch)
10 July 2003 - GM crops a waste of time, No 10 study will tell Blair (Daily Telegraph, UK)
10 July 2003 - Little economic benefit from GM crops (BBC News)
10 July 2003 - UK risks "superweed" GM pollution (Reuters)
8 July 2003 - Lamy warns US it will lose if it seeks WTO ruling on biotech labelling (AFP)
7 July 2003 - Meacher voices further GM fears (Farmers Weekly)
1 July 2003 - Public Meetings across the UK
24 June 2003 - Minister's GM evidence flawed (Farmers Weekly)
23 June 2003 - 'Superweeds' signal setback for GM crops (Independent, UK)
22 June 2003 - Michael Meacher: Are GM crops safe? Who can say? Not Blair (IoS, UK)
22 June 2003 - Blair buried health warning on GM crops, says sacked minister (Independent, UK)
14 June 2003 - Meacher vows to keep up GM crops campaign from backbench (FT)
14 June 2003 - Meacher a loss to GM crop debate (Daily Telegraph, UK)
13 June 2003 - Who cares what 'the people' think of GM foods? (Times, UK)
12 June 2003 - Debate, what debate? (Nature)
11 June 2003 - Review of Glasgow GM Public Debate
10 June 2003 - Let's do a Monsanto - The government says that it wants a 'great debate' about GM - we must call its bluff (Guardian, UK)
9 June 2003 - Conference venue had room for only 100 (Western Morning News)
8 June 2003 - Supermarkets tell Blair: we won't stock GM (Observer, UK)
8 June 2003 - Genetically modified crops? Not in my backfield (Observer, UK)
7 June 2003 - Review of Taunton GM Public Debate
5 June 2003 - Review of Swansea GM Public Debate
5 June 2003 - Government must clarify role of GM debate (FoE)
3 June 2003 - Chaotic GM debate begins (BBC News)
3 June 2003 - Public debate on future of GM crops inadequate (Financial Times)
3 June 2003 - National Trust calls for full public participation in GM debate (National Trust, UK)
2 June 2003 - Coming soon: the great GM crops debate. But does the Government really want your views? (Independent, UK)
2 June 2003 - Government must address GM debate chaos say groups (FoE)
2 June 2003 - GM debate risks being facade (BBC News)
2 June 2003 - Ministers briefed to back off GM crops (Times, UK)
2 June 2003 - Q&A: the 'national debate' on GM food (Times, UK)
1 June 2003 - June 2003 - GM public debate regional meetings
25 May 2003 - Food watchdog hid fears over GM (Independent, UK)
6 May 2003 - FSA work on consumer attitudes to GM food (FSA)
13 April 2003 - Blair adviser attacks Labour GM crops 'fix' (Observer, UK)
21 March 2003 - Doubts over GM crops debate (Financial Times)
20 March 2003 - Credibility of GM public debate hangs by a thread (FoE)
19 March 2003 - Third meeting of the "GM Science Review Panel"
18 March 2003 - Seeds of doubt over GM (Guardian, UK)
15 March 2003 - NCC calls on government to act on public's views in GM debate (NCC)
14 March 2003 - Consumer groups allege pro-GM crops bias (Financial Times, UK)
14 March 2003 - Food Standards Agency accused of pro-GM bias (Guardian, UK)
13 March 2003 - Leading consumer groups unite to condemn the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for shirking a genuine debate on GM
9 March 2003 - Fury over spin on GM crops (Observer, UK)
9 March 2003 - Report claims FSA boss 'is pro-GM' (Sunday Herald, UK)
5 March 2003 - Lobby groups say UK food watchdog favours biotech (Reuters)
5 March 2003 - Food Standards Agency attacked over breakway GM debate (GFA)
4 March 2003 - Joint letter to the Food Standards Agency
3 March 2003 - GM Public Debate ‘meaningless’ unless Government halts GM commercialisation decisions (GeneWatch UK)
27 February 2003 - Debate on GM food to start in May (10 Downing Street)
24 February 2003 - Britain gives more time, money to GM crop debate (Reuters)
20 February 2003 - More time for public say on GM crops (Guardian, UK)
18 February 2003 - Second meeting of the "GM Science Review Panel"
13 February 2003 - People Will Have A Say On GM Foods, Minister Pledges (Western Daily Press)
6 February 2003 - GM Debate Chair slams Government (FoE)
22 January 2003 - GM Public Debate Fiasco (FoE)
21 January 2003 - Minutes of the seventh meeting of the GM public debate steering board - held in private
20 January 2003 - "GM Public Debate" meeting held in...private...! (gmfoodnews.com)
15 January 2003 - Right to reply (Guardian, UK)
17 December 2002 - Minutes of sixth meeting of the GM public debate steering board
10 December 2002 - First public meeting of "GM Science Review Panel"
6 December 2002 - Minutes of fifth meeting of the GM public debate steering board
29 November 2002 - GM debate descends into farce (FoE)
29 November 2002 - Review of GM strategy will ignore field trials (Guardian, UK)
26 November 2002 - UK "GM Public Debate" - How to be "a pain" (GM Food News)
20 November 2002 - Off message (Guardian, UK)
20 November 2002 - Minutes of fourth meeting of the GM public debate steering board
14 November 2002 - Aims and Objectives of the GM Public Debate (Written by Dr Gary Kass, GM Public Debate Steering Board)
14 November 2002 - Announcement of 'Workshops' to plan GM Public Debate (GM Public Debate Steering Board)
13 November 2002 - False Start (Guardian, UK)
10 November 2002 - Advisers brand Blair's GM debate a sham (Observer, UK)
7 November 2002 - Minutes of third meeting of the GM public debate steering board
7 November 2002 - Agenda of third meeting of the GM public debate steering board
23 October 2002 - Minutes of 'Advisory discussion with social scientists'
21 October 2002 - Is this GM debate just another smokescreen? (Western Morning News)
3 October 2002 - Minutes of second meeting of the GM public debate steering board
3 October 2002 - Agenda of second meeting of the GM public debate steering board
23 September 2002 - Notes of meeting between public debate steering board members and COI Communications
18 September 2002 - Government seeks to suppress GM debate (FoE)
13 September 2002 - Minutes of first meeting of the GM public debate steering board
22 August 2002 - GM farm debate will be a sham, say experts (Daily Mail, UK)
26 July 2002 - 'Open debate' called on GM crops (BBC News)
26 July 2002 - Government must not ignore public over GM crop commercialisation (FoE)
26 July 2002 - Public to choose issues for GM debate - Beckett (DEFRA)
31 May 2002 - Beckett announces a public debate on GM (DEFRA)

Earlier debates and hearings
20 March 2002 - Anti-GM petition wins hearing (The Scotsman)
2 March 2002 - British Debate on GE Crops Continues - The seeds of discord (Daily Telegraph, UK)
20 February 2002 - ACRE T25 hearing, London, UK
29 November 2001 - May we have a debate on GM contamination? (Hansard, UK)
15 May 2001 - The debate nobody wants - GM (Guardian, UK)
30 September 2000 - GM crops get public hearings (Guardian UK)
18 October 1999 - Ministers ignoring public on GM food (BBC News)



Background - GM Public Debate

In September 2001 the UK Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) published a report "Crops on Trial". This report said:
"It will be crucial for the public to be involved in the important decisions which need to be taken. We have to find a way to foster informed public discussion of the development and application of new technologies."
However, the objectives for the "GM public debate" still remain unclear. Questions which I have asked members of the COI, DTI and DEFRA dealing with the "GM public debate" include: These questions have still not been answered.

A list of members of the GM public debate steering board can be found at http://www.gmpublicdebate.org.uk/whoweare.htm