Recently we circulated Dr Arpad Pusztai's letter to Dr Ian Gibson in which Pusztai expertly dissected a number of claims made by Gibson during the UK parliamentary debate on GM of 5th May. http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=3741
In his speech Gibson, himself a biologist and Chairman of the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee, authoritatively dismissed concerns over GM. Pusztai's letter showed Gibson could not scientifically support the claims he made and suggested some points were plain invention. http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=3741
Now, a GM Watch subscriber, Kirsi Komonen, has drawn our attention to yet another remarkable aspect of the Gibson speech. Kirsi told us that the opening remarks in Gibson's speech are almost word for word the same as those in an article by Derek Burke. This opening similarity Kirsi suggests is no abberation. Many of the other points in Gibson's speech are also strikingly similar to points in Burke's article, in both language and argument.
Below we compare the two. We think you'll agree it is clear from this comparison that the politician who boasted he had the scientific knowledge to wipe the floor of the House of Commons with his adversaries, is in reality nothing better than a parrot!
1.GIBSON MAKING A BURKE OF HIMSELF
2.Who is Derek Burke?
1. GIBSON MAKING A BURKE OF HIMSELF
Burke's article: GM Food and Crops: What Went Wrong in the UK? Text at http://www.truthabouttrade.org/article.asp?id=1859
Gibson's speech Text: Hansard for May 5, 2004 http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/cm040505/debtext/40505-33.htm
*TELL-TALE COPIED INTRO
GIBSON: "The point has often been made here that genetically modified crops are being grown extensively in north and south America and in China, although not in Europe. They have in a sense become part of the normal diet in those places, if not in Europe, where there is still contention, despite the fact that 300 million US citizens continue to eat GM soya without any ill effects in a very litigious society, and many Europeans, including people here, have eaten it while in the US, with no adverse consequences."
BURKE: "Genetically modified (GM) crops are now being grown extensively in North and South America and China, although not in Europe. Food produced from these crops has become a part of the normal diet in North and South America and in China, but not in Europe, where contention continues despite the fact that millions of US citizens eat GM soya without any ill effects in a very litigious society, and many Europeans have eaten GM soya while in the US without any adverse consequences."
*NUFFIELD AND 'ETHICAL OBLIGATION' TO 3RD WORLD
GIBSON: "The scientific, social and ethical issues have also been examined by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which has said that 'there is an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, in order to contribute to the reduction of poverty and to improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries.'"
BURKE: "The Nuffield Council on Bioethics' paper on 'The use of genetically modified crops in developing countries' (2004) reaffirmed its earlier conclusion that 'there is an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, in order to contribute to the reduction of poverty and to improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries'"
*BMA AND ROBUSTNESS
GIBSON: "The British Medical Association, too, has made robust submissions that there is no evidence that the foods are unsafe."
BURKE: the British Medical Association recently stated... that 'The BMA shares the view that there is no robust evidence to prove that GM foods are unsafe'"
*BECKETT: NO SCIENTIFIC CASE FOR BAN
GIBSON: "The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has made it quite clear: 'There is no scientific case for a blanket approval of all the uses of GM', but 'Equally, there is no scientific case for a blanket ban on the use of GM.'"
BURKE: "[The] Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, made a statement in the House of Commons saying inter alia that 'There was no scientific case for ruling out all GM crops or products'... Beckett further said that 'There is no scientific case for a blanket approval of all uses of GM, and equally there is no scientific case for a blanket ban on the use of GM'"
*PUBLIC WANT CAUTION, REGULATION AND MONITORING
GIBSON: "Recognising that people believe that the use of genetic modification should be approached with caution, the Government want regulation and monitoring. Some people want a framework of rules for the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops, and many want a clear regime of traceability and labelling so that they can make their own choices."
BURKE: "[the Secretary of State] took into account public concerns. 'Most people believe that the use of genetic modification should be approached with caution. They want strong regulation and monitoring and in addition, some want a framework of rules for coexistence of GM and non-GM crops, and customers want a clear regime for traceability and labelling so that they can make their own choices.'"
*BLAME THE MEDIA
GIBSON: "Let us consider some of the other things that the media have said throughout this torturous debate-nearly every newspaper has made some comment. Headlines include, "Are we at risk from mutant make-up?", "GM crops linked to meningitis", "Lifting the lid on the horror of GM foods", "Mutant porkies on the menu", "GM risk in daily food of millions", "GM food 'threatens the planet'", "Meat may be tainted by Frankenstein food", "M&S sells genetically modified Frankenpants"-that was from that classic newspaper, The Independent on Sunday-"Is GM the new thalidomide?", and so on. There has been a concerted media campaign to convey such a view of GM foods, and it obviously has an effect on people. ... In fact, the activism has not been public-led; it has been provoked by newspapers, and people have responded by becoming sceptical."
The newspaper headlines Gibson quotes occur in the following order
"Are we at risk from mutant make-up?"
"GM crops linked to meningitis"
"Lifting the lid on the horror of GM foods"
"Mutant porkies on the menu"
"GM risk in daily food of millions"
"GM food 'threatens the planet'"
"Meat may be tainted by Frankenstein food"
"M&S sells genetically modified Frankenpants
"Is GM the new thalidomide?",
Headlines in a sidebar to BURKE's article include, in the following order:
Go to a Print friendly Page
Email this Article to a Friend
Back to the Archive