GM Science Review - Comments on First Report

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Name: Rachel Eburne Location (optional): Date: 3 September 2003
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To the Secretariat,

As an interested member of the public, my comments on the first report are as follows:

- overall the language of the report seems pro-GM commenting on the pro-GM aspect first and then following up with the anti-GM aspect.

- many of the Science Review Panel members have interests in (and are paid by) agricultural groups such as Syngenta and Monsanto. It is in the interest of these groups to promote GM technology and hence their GM products and accompanying herbicides etc. While I do not doubt their scientific expertise, I question how independent some members of this panel are.

- many comments are made regarding how long GM crops have been in existence, especially referring to the US but I do not see any evidence of a long term research project to establish the effects. In the pharmaceutical world, drugs are researched for many years before being released into the market. Should research not be done in the US (where this is in existence) first before trialling here?

- I question why we are investing so much effort and finance into GM. Given the environmental state of the world we should be investing far more in improving the ecology of the land through sustainable means. GM is not sustainable.

- who is demanding that the UK should have GM food? The public clearly isn't (as the supermarkets have demonstrated); interested scientists may want to see new techologies developed but why not look to other means (as mentioned above); is it just the commercial winners and hence their pressure onto the Government?

I am against GM and like the majority of the UK public, do not wish to see it developed here - either pushed to us by industry, the Government or foreign (US) policy manipulations.

Yours sincerely,

Rachel Eburne.