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March 17, 2000


Shilito: BBC against Biotech?


The following message was received at AgBioView-owner@listbot.com
and is being forwarded to you, the list owner.

The bias of the British press is actually a conscious effort. The following article appeared in the the February,
1999 edition of AgBiotech Reporter (http://www.bioreporter.com):

Food Writers Against ‘Experimentation On The Public’
By Katherine Williams
ABR European Correspondent
A new anti GM campaign was launched by leading food writers, in association with Greenpeace, at the Savoy in
London. The campaign intends to secure a ban on the release of all genetically modified organisms into the
environment and the food chain.

Over ninety leading food writers have signed a statement against GE food. The writers intend to work with
Greenpeace to alert the public to what they consider to be the health and environmental dangers of genetic
engineering. “This is the most important issue of my lifetime”, said Joanna Blythman, food writer for the
Guardian. “As commentators who inform and reflect public opinion on food matters, we will use every opportunity to
oppose the genetically engineered foods that are being forced on the market”.

Darina Allen, owner of the Ballymaloe Cookery school, organic farmer and cookery writer, expressed concern at the
possible presence of GM products in animal feed. Lynda Brown, an author and broadcaster, spoke of “disastrous
science”, which was “indefensible” and driven by “pure profit”. She urged consumers to buy organic products in
order to avoid GM foods and quoted Dr. Nick Lambkin at a recent Soil Association meeting saying that if organic
farming continued to expand at its present rate, 25% of Britain’s farms would be organic by the year 2010.

The writers have pledged to promote the use of non-genetically engineered ingredients and to endorse GE free or
organic restaurants. They object to what the statement calls a “a genetic experiment on the public” and are deeply
concerned that the introduction of GE food is the wrong direction for food policy.

AgBioView wrote:

> - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
> From: Ray Shillito
> Subject: BBC against Biotech?
> For an example of subtly biased reporting, see
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/special_report/1999/02/99/food_under_the_mi croscope/newsid_280000/280868.stm
> (you will probably have to copy or type this in - it is so long.
> We need to answer such questions, and send lots of messages questioning
> their slant on the issue.
> Ray Shillito
> (I looked at this site and do agree with Ray. But it is certainly worth a
> visit as they have extensive information, and also an interesting debate
> between Greenpeace and AgrEvo experts...CSP)