|NFU vice-president's links to industry lobbyists (5/7/2006)|
Temple is the man who's been heading the UK's Nation Farmers' Union's development of policy on "coexistence".
Sounds just the neutral open-minded industry-independent sort of person farmers could rely on to protect their interests rather then go with the industry's agenda.
On a European tour
Barely noticed last week, the Nation Farmers' Union (NFU) has beefed up its policy on GM crops. Instead of just being cautiously in favour of coexistence as it was under "Biotech Ben" Gill, the farmers' union now appears to be gagging for them - with a few safeguards. This shift will delight a small group of biotech enthusiasts inside the union, in particular Paul Temple who since February has been NFU vice-president. Temple grew GM oilseed rape for three years as part of the government trials and since then has been seeing Europe courtesy of the industry and arguing for farmer choice [ie freedom to grow GMOs]. Back in October, he visted Spanish GM farms courtesy of the Spanish biotech organisation Antama; and in November he was paid to go to Brussels to take part in a stakeholder event organised by pro-biotech lobby groups Croplife International and EuropaBio. "To my mind it makes more sense if someone else is paying. I have never been incapable of making up my own mind about something," he says.