THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Who do you trust in the GM foods debate?

Confusion surrounds the issue of the safety of genetically modified foods

Confusion surrounds the issue of the safety of genetically modified


Martin Paterson

Food and Drink Federation

’I think that people will trust their instincts and take the same common

sense approach which they did over beef on the bone. This so-called

debate is more about politics than about food safety. The food and drink

industry is far from complacent, but carelines and sales figures show

that real consumers - as opposed to consumerists - are shrugging off the

irresponsible and overblown scaremongering headlines.’

Charlene Bargeron

Greenlines Healthcare Communications

’Probably no one. The experts don’t know, the politicians lack unbiased

advisers and industry only cares about shareholder value.People’s

comments are only as good as the accuracy of their information, filtered

through their prejudices and other influences.’

Richard Harrison

Greenwood Tighe PR

’The fear surrounding GM food is about consumer confidence. As ’experts’

continue to make claim and counter claim I doubt the public will trust

the boffins. People are becoming sceptical of the biotech food


Public opinion is with green groups like Friends of the Earth and

English Nature and the Government should listen to regain trust.’

Jack Cunningham

Minister for the Cabinet Office

’The Government trusts independent expert scientists. Genetic

modification is a fast moving area of science. The Government’s first

priority is to protect consumers and the environment. We are proceeding

with caution to ensure that this priority is achieved. We take advice

from the best expert scientists who are independent from Government. We

also believe in having a broader public debate about the use of genetic

technology. So we also listen carefully to the views of the public

before taking decisions.’

George Monbiot

Environmental campaigner

’The problem is that no one understands the whole subject. The

scientists understand some of the science, but not the politics and

economics. The politicians understand some of the political issues, but

not the science.

The corporations understand how to force the world to grow and eat their

crops, but don’t understand why everyone else thinks this is a bad


We can trust them all -to get just about everything wrong.’

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