GeneWatch PR: FSA set to waste over half a million pounds on PR exercise for GM industry

Last night, GeneWatch UK's Director Dr Helen Wallace, resigned from the Steering Group for the Food Standards Agency's GM dialogue (1,2). The Steering Group meets today to agree a GBP450,000 bid and GBP50,000 evaluation for its public dialogue on GM crops and food. Additional money will be spent on paying the civil servants and consultants who will be managing the exercise.


The budget was approved by the former Government and is overseen by the FSA, which is chaired by former Labour agriculture minister Jeff Rooker, who will be speaking at the FSA meeting today.


Freedom of Information requests and internal documents show that the dialogue is an integral part of the GM industry's PR strategy. This involves claiming non-existent future benefits ('GM will feed the world') whilst portraying step-by-step contamination of GM-free shipments into Britain and Europe as inevitable and lobbying to weaken regulation.


Dr Wallace said: "Taxpayers will be shocked that a former minister is blowing public money on a PR exercise on behalf of GM companies".


The US company Monsanto controls 95% of the market for GM seeds. Dow (US), DuPont (US), Syngenta (Switzerland), BASF (Germany) and Bayer (Germany) are the other companies involved.


For further information contact:

Dr Helen Wallace. Office: 01298-24300; Mobile: 07903-311584.


(1) Dr Wallace's resignation letter is available in full on:


(2) The FSA's description of the GM dialogue is on:

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