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[SANET-MG] EU bureaucrat wants to fast track GM foods
Anti democratic bureaucrats have been key in spreading GM pollution
worldwide. It appears as if elected politicians have handed government
completely into the hands of bureaucrats who serve corporations rather
than the government.
Mandelson wants to fast-track GM
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
05 June 2005 the independent
Peter Mandelson is pressing for new GM foods and crops to be eaten and
planted across Europe, even though governments cannot agree on whether
to introduce them, top officials from the European Commission have told
The Independent on Sunday.
They say that the controversial trade commissioner's department wants to
speed up their use, despite widespread public opposition, and is
insisting on their being imposed by the Commission on unwilling governments.
The Commission lifted a six-year moratorium on approving new modified
foods and crops last year, and biotech firms have been queuing up to
have their products officially cleared for use across the Continent.
Two types of GM maize have already been passed for human and livestock
consumption over the past year, and more than 30 GM versions of maize,
rice, potatoes, sugar beet, soya beans and other foods and crops are
They are being nodded through by the Commission, over the heads of
governments, because ministers cannot agree on whether to approve them.
European countries are almost equally split into pro-GM and anti-GM
camps, and every time a new product comes before ministers for clearance
they are deadlocked. It then passes to the Commission itself for
approval, in a procedure denounced by campaigners as "profoundly
Now the Commission's Health and Environment directorates are pressing
for the system to be changed to give governments greater control.
Markos Kyprianou, the health and consumer protection commissioner, has
also come out against it, and Hervé Martin, head of the biotechnology
and pesticides unit in the EU Environment Directorate, says that it is
"not sustainable to continue the system". He believes commissioners and
governments should meet "before the summer" to work out a better one.
But, Mr Martin adds, the Trade Directorate wants to speed up the
approval of more modified crops and products. He says it is insisting on
sticking with the present arrangements, even if this means overriding
the wishes of some governments.
Michael Meacher, the former UK environment minister, said yesterday:
"Having a group of unelected bureaucrats deciding what food should be
eaten is fundamentally undemocratic. It is intolerable that they can
ride it through roughshod over the objections of member states.
"This is the very kind of thing that the peoples of France and the
Netherlands were objecting to in their referendums last week."
Mr Mandelson's office failed to take up the opportunity to comment.
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