The deadline for the contribution to the GM Nation debate is 18 July.I have just filled in their feedback form, thanks to the link on warmwell, and in the comments box I have included the 9 points below.1. The government has completely lost my trust, and quite frankly I no longer believe what it says. (See reasons given below).2. I have followed the GM debate for some years, and made it my business to be as well informed as possible. I was not able to attend one of your meetings because of poor publicity/availability.
3 .I consider the government attempts at a "public debate" have been cosmetic, and without real commitment, particularly financial. (Compare with the amount spent by government on promoting GM technology).4. I have absolutely no trust in the government's "best scientific advice". This is as a result of:a) what I consider to be the disastrous mishandling of the FMD epidemic, using flawed epidemiological models, and ignoring the leading FMD veterinary scientists;b) what I consider to be the poor science behind the National Scrapie Plan, which could result in another mass slaughter programme;c) the withdrawal of funding from Prof Alan Ebringer, whose research so far indicates an alternative cause for BSE, (with enormous implications for the livestock industry), and a possible cause of MS;d) the disastrous blow dealt to the cockle industry as a result of using an outdated and discredited test as scientific evidence.These examples are just a few, but show that we as a country should really do very much better - we were world renowned for our scientific expertise,which was seen to be independent and of the highest calibre. That perception has now radically changed - our science/scientists are seen to be at the mercy of political and commercial interests, with the result that the true "best science" has very often bit the dust. In the FMD epidemic, our overseas colleagues were looking at us in utter dismay and incredulity, as we proceeded to wipe out much of our livestock industry and inflict a lasting blow on the rural community. Compare the attempts in the SARS epidemic to find and validate a diagnostic test - this was done in a few weeks, simply because there was the political will. With FMD, the powers that be are still prevaricating in validation, even though diagnostic tests were actually available before the FMD 2001 epidemic.5. There are far too close links between government and the biotech and drug companies. I also consider that Lord Sainsbury's appointment was not helpful - it certainly does not encourage me to perceive the government as open and unbiased.6. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the big companies are going to make enormous amounts of money for themselves out of GM, and that their activities are not primarily concerned with helping to feed the poorer countries, and other like issues. The claims that have been made for the benefits of GM have been shown in Canada to have been misleading, and they are 6 years down the road with GM trials. (Canadian NFU visit to UK).7. I consider there are enormous risks and problems associated with GM crops/technology, and that far from resulting in better yields, and less and fewer insecticides/weedkillers, the opposite is happening, with the rise of all sorts of unwanted side effects e.g. the superweeds, the need to revert to the "old" style of chemicals in large amounts. The repercussions in human health may be enormous, for example, the possible rise of further superbug resistance to antibiotics.8. I consider that the stranglehold that the big companies will have on the third world growers, should GM take off, is immoral, and will cause poverty, hardship, and the break up of rural communities. The farmers will become slaves of the biotech companies - have we really advanced from colonial days?I would be grateful if you could consider the above points.