The GM industry’s influence over the Government’s policy and media strategy

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Anthony sent a lead to a press release recording an official complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about missing and redacted documents showing the GM industry’s influence over the Government’s policy and media strategy on genetically modified crops and foods.

NGO GeneWatch spent a year trying to obtain documents showing the extensive government contacts between the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC).

A history

In 2010 there were several passing references on this site to ABC and its chairman Dr Julian Little – previous experience in Rhone-Poulenc, Aventis and Bayer CropScience – see Vested interests fight back .

david burrows fgIn 2012 Chemical Concerns recorded the report by David Burrows in the Farmers Guardian that the Government had reacted angrily to claims it is brokering ‘secret deals’ with biotechnology companies to push genetically modified (GM) foods. These were founded on information in a document, obtained through Freedom of Information, which is linked to a meeting between various biotechnology companies, the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), Science Minister David Willetts and then Defra Minister Lord Taylor.

A summary of notes highlighted the need for, among other things, ‘increased investment in biotech’ and the ‘start of a public debate about the role of biotech’.

“The public have a right to know what is going on behind closed doors”

genewatch logoGeneWatch made an official complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office about missing and redacted documents showing the GM industry’s influence over the Government’s policy and media strategy on genetically modified (GM) crops and foods. Details are given of the documents, which include minutes of meetings, phone calls and action points for officials:

Do the redacted documents suggest that the Government is colluding with the GM industry to manipulate the media, undermine access to GM-free-fed meat and dairy products and plot the return of GM crops to Britain?

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Posted on April 18, 2014, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Lobbying, Parliamentary failure, Planning, Revolving door, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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