America Bullies Countries over GM Foods

Cabinet papers released under the Freedom of Information Act in New Zealand showed that the US is bullying countries over GMO foods. The papers showed that the US had threatened to jeopardise free trade agreements with NZ if they passed a tough GM labelling bill. Whilst widely suspected, this is the first clear evidence of the tactics being used. With Tony Blair refusing to state what has been said between the UK and US on this issue we can only suspect that our Government is also coming under the same sort of pressure.

Genetic Polluters Escape Scot Free

Shambolic failures at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) mean that genetic polluters are escaping legal action. Official inspections of genetically-modified crop test sites are “inadequate, secretive and ineffective”, Friends of the Earth (FOE) has concluded.

The evidence comes in a letter to FOE from the HSE - which carries out inspections of GM trial sites on behalf of the Government.

The HSE's reply shows that:

  • one in ten of the sites monitored so far this year have breached consents

  • most GM sites are not monitored. Last year only just over one third of licensed sites were checked by HSE Inspectors

  • HSE do not know how many breaches there have been in recent years because they don't have the relevant information

  • no company has yet been prosecuted for illegally breaching a consent to hold a crop trial

  • the HSE is refusing to say on which sites its Inspectors believe consents have been breached, or the name of companies involved.

From the information available it is almost certain that genetic pollution is being released into the environment, despite assurances from the Government that the technology is being closely policed.

It is now expected that the HSE will announce in the coming week that it will proceed with plans to prosecute Monsanto for breaches of regulations covering crop trials.

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