US firms 'lied' about GM foods

The EU's environment commissioner has accused US biotech firms of trying to lie about the benefits of genetically-modified (GM) crops in an attempt to force them upon Europe.

    GM foods fill corporate pockets not empty bellies

    Margot Wallstrom said their aim was to solve starvation amongst shareholders rather than in the developing world.

    Her comments in an interview with journalists, extracts of which were carried in a London newspaper on Tuesday, come as UK's government prepares to publish long-awaited results of GM crop trials in the UK.

    "They tried to lie to people, and they tried to force it upon people," the Swede told reporters over lunch in London on Monday, The Independent reported.

    Forcefed

    "It's the wrong approach. You cannot force it upon Europe," she said.

    "So I hope they have learnt a lesson from this, especially when they now try to argue that this will solve the problems of starvation in the world and so on.

    "But come on... it was to solve starvation amongst shareholders, not the developing world," Wallstrom added.

    The European Parliament passed legislation in July approving the sale of GM foods in five years' time, provided those with a GM content of 0.9% or more are clearly labelled.

    Frankenfoods in Britain

    "It was to solve starvation amongst shareholders, not the developing world"

    Margot Wallstrom,
    EU environment commissioner

    But the United States filed a suit in June with the World Trade Organisation, saying a five-year moratorium on approvals of new GM crops maintained by the EU had deprived it of a potential $300 million export market.

    Britain will publish on Thursday the results of three-year field scale trials of three GM crops - maize, oil seed rape and sugar beet.

    According to a British newspaper report last month, leaked letters show that the government plans to back EU rules which would give the green light to the commercial growing of GM crops in Britain. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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