French President and German Chancellor Put Genetic Manipulation
on the G-8 Summit Under "Global Threats" Along with AIDS and the
Monsanto Investing News web page.
GM food 'threatens the planet' The Observer
Andy McSmith and Denis Staunton, Cologne and Antony Barnett
Sunday June 20, 1999
The world's most powerful leaders yesterday labelled genetically modified
food, alongside Aids and the millennium bug, as one of the greates threats
facing the planet.
In a significant blow to Tony Blair and President Bill Clinton, both men
were bounced into agreeing a new global inquiry into the safety of GM foods
the G8 summit in Cologne. Blair and the US President have been two of the
strongest supporters of the GM industry.
Environmentalists welcomed the development as 'significant', but they
warned that the public would not be 'duped by international committees
interested in rubber-stamping products of biotechnology firms'.
Tony Juniper, the director of Friends of the Earth, said: 'It shows just
how far the thinking of the US and British Governments is from those in
other leading nations. If this G8 initiative is to have any credibility,
there must now be a five-year freeze on all GM food used commercially.'
Monsanto, the US firm behind GM crops, also welcomed the move, saying it
hoped it would speed up international approval of their products.
Washington and Brussels are at loggerheads over GM technology, with the US
threatening an all-out trade war if Europe tries to ban GM food.
Yesterday the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder - supporting an
initiative of French President Jacques Chirac - used his position as head
of the host nation to put GM foods on the agenda of the G8 summit. The
matter was included
under 'global threats' along with Aids and the millennium bug.
This Franco-German alliance symbolises the growing opposition on the
Continent to the new technology.