from Pete Riley, real food campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Sir; Once again an opinion poll clearly shows that most consumers don't want GM food (The Grocer, September 21, p4). This is pretty consistent with numerous polls of recent years. In fact, on the same day The Grocer reported that 58% wouldn't buy GM food, Friends of the Earth published an NOP survey showing that 63% of regular honey-buyers wanted honey to be GM-free.
But what is the reaction of the GM lobby to this massive vote of no confidence? Apparently it is "extremely encouraged" that a third of the population is prepared to eat its products, and blames the media for the fact that people aren't marching in the streets demanding more.
Biotech firms are also trying to bypass opinion by lobbying for the removal ­ and, if that fails, the relaxation ­ of laws which say food containing GM ingredients must be labelled. If people can't identify GM food, they can't avoid it.
People are justified in being concerned about this new technology. GM food tests have repeatedly been shown to be incomplete or inadequate.
Next year the government will decide whether to allow GM crops to be commercially grown in the UK. Will it listen to the public or side with an industry determined that consumers eat its food ­ whether they want to or not?