Genetic modification: how can the vested interests of these scientists be denied?
Science Media Centre – mission: to provide accurate information . . .
Sean Poulter and Ben Spencer report that – despite its presentation as the work of ‘independent’ scientists – all the academics who produced a study calling for GM crops to be fast-tracked into Britain’s farms and kitchens have links to the industry.
The journalists’ report alleges that the five authors, selected by the Council for Science and Technology, advisors to the Prime Minister, have a vested interest in promoting GM crops and food – and some are part-funded by the industry. Photographs and further information about the scientists named may be seen in the report.
- Professor Sir David Baulcombe, from Cambridge University, works as a consultant for GM firm Syngenta, which gives his department research funding;
- Professor Jonathan Jones, from the Sainsbury Laboratory, which is at the centre of Britain’s GM research, part-funded by former Labour science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is one of the country’s biggest supporters of the technology;
- Professor Jim Dunwell, from the University of Reading, was a founder member of CropGen, which describes its mission as ‘to make the case for GM crops and foods’;
- Professor John Pickett, from Rothamsted, which is heavily involved in GM research;
- and Professor Pere Puigdomenech, from the universities of Cambridge and Barcelona, co-chairman of the seventh International Plant Molecular Biotechnology Congress, sponsored by Monsanto, Bayer and DuPont.
Last night, the Science Media Centre, which released the report, insisted the authors were independent.