Ban on GM foods in Europe continues to irk the promoters of genetically tampered food raw materials with multi billion dollars commercial stake. It is well known that the GM foods lobby has powerful influence with decision making authorities in many countries through investment of vast resources to mold their views. In a shocking revelation, the food authority in the UK seems to have adopted some of the arguments of GM food lobby "verbatim" while recommending clearance of these foods in the market under the pretext that food prices might go up if such restriction is continued.
"A powerful lobbying organisation representing agribusiness interests helped draft a key government report that has been attacked by environmentalists for heavily favouring the arguments of the genetically modified food industry. The revelation comes after the resignation of two government advisers who have criticised the close relationship between the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the body that oversees the UK's food industry, and the GM lobby.Emails between the FSA and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) show the council inserted key sentences strengthening the case for GM food that ended up in the final report. The report, "Food Standards Agency work on changes in the market and the GM regulatory system", examines how GM products are entering the UK, where the growing of GM products is banned, through the animal feed system. It acknowledges food prices could go up if GM products continue to be excluded".
The industry lobbying to allow GM foods is understandable because the cost of raw material inputs and their supply are increasingly under pressure since GM versions of soybean and corn are predominantly grown outpacing the natural varieties. But a regulatory agency like FSA needs to be impartial while considering the pros and cons of adopting a controversial approach involving mass consumption of GM foods with uncertain safety credentials. It is also deplorable that some GM foods have already entered the food chain through the back door by becoming part of many animal feed preparations. How safe it is for the consumers to eat animal foods derived from such animals is not known. Also not understood is the necessity for this country to go against the collective wisdom of the EU community.