Plans to allow GM farming in secret are "irresponsible" says Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (21/7/2006)

Comment from nlpwessex:

"The biotech industry lobbying body, ABC, which is financed by GM giants such as Monsanto, welcomed the government plans." (Daily Mail)

So much for Blair's public 'national debate' consultation process on GM crops.

But then the Labour party is running a record GBP27 million overdraft (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,17129-2270895,00.html ) and is in desperate need of further cash injections from GM crop king Lord Sainsbury (an early 'cash for peerages' beneficiary -

http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpWESSEX/Documents/LordSainsbury.htm ).

Note the Telegraph says "The Government said it had decided against a public register for the growers of GM crops because of the cost and burden it would place on farmers.". However, a public register is a requirement of EU law, so the government would be likely to face infringement proceedings if it failed to implement.

Plans to allow GM farming in secret 'are irresponsible'
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
The Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2006

GM crops could be grown in secret under Government plans announced yesterday.

The move was denounced as "irresponsible" by surveyors, who gave warning that it could blight land and property prices. Environmentalists said the proposed rules for "co-existence" between genetically modified and other crops would lead to widespread contamination of the countryside.

Government has rejected a GM land register

Farmers would only have to notify neighbouring farmers if they were growing GM crops within a separation distance that could be as little as 35 metres (38yd) for GM oil seed rape.

Farmers would be under no obligation to notify the owners of nearby gardens, allotments or beehives that they were growing GM varieties.

However, their neighbours could still find their produce contaminated by GM pollen, the effects of which can be measured over a kilometre (0.6 mile) away.

The Government said it had decided against a public register for the growers of GM crops because of the cost and burden it would place on farmers.

The rules it proposes will allow the contamination of neighbouring crops and honey up to the EU's legal threshold of 0.9 per cent of the crop - without any form of compensation. Environmentalists say that in Brazil non-GM crops have to conform to a threshold of 0.1 per cent, which farmers are able to do without difficulty.

The Government has made a number of proposals for compensating farmers who find they had been contaminated at more than 0.9 per cent by GM pollination. These do not go beyond the cost of the individual crop.

No GM crops suitable for UK conditions have been approved by the EU and it would take until 2009 for any to receive approval under its long-winded procedures. Ian Pearson, the environment minister, insisted yesterday that the Government was not for or against GM, and that proposals were "not a green light for GM crops".

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors said it was "disappointed" that the Government did not support the introduction of a GM land register.

Damian Cleghorn, a RICS spokesman, said: "It is irresponsible of the Government not to introduce a land registry that would allow prospective purchasers of land and property to be warned about any possible issues relating to their transactions.

"A GM land register is in the public interest and it is the Government's responsibility to act in the public's interest." Lord Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, said: "The Government's latest proposals are, in effect, denying all consumers, organic or non-organic, the right to choose non-GM food."

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