Media reports on biotech lobby group plan to recruit GM ‘ambassadors’

EuropaBio attempt to fake public support for GM crops by recruiting celebrities and politicians

Press release - October 21, 2011
Responding to media reports that the European biotech industry lobby group, EuropaBio, is attempting to fake public support for genetically modified (GM) food by recruiting high profile personalities, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “The biotech industry is trying to fake public support by grooming well-intentioned but ill-informed talking heads. It wants to put words in their mouths, pay their hotel bills and remains in the background pretending it has no involvement. By insinuating that the European public and policymakers are blocking the biotech industry’s solutions to world hunger, EuropaBio is making a cold and calculating attempt to open up sales of GM products and take control of the food chain. Genetic modification will not solve world hunger: it’s an argument that does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.”

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“It is an insult to European citizens to think that a public relations campaign could take away their concerns about food safety, while putting corporate profit first. This is a masquerade, with the biotech industry cynically misusing hunger to increase sales of GM crops and the chemicals that come with them.”

According to official EU surveys (Eurobarometer on Biotechnology 2010 [1]) the percentage of Europeans opposing genetically modified food is increasing. “The survey is unequivocal: over 60% of Europeans are opposed to GM food in Europe,” added Marco Contiero.

“Every year, evidence grows that GM food isn’t delivering, while more effective and safer technologies are being sidelined by biotech multinationals because they are less lucrative.” [2]

 

Guardian – Biotech group bids to recruit high-profile GM 'ambassadors'

 

Note to editors:

[1] Special Eurobarometer on Biotechnology: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_341_en.pdf

[2] United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Prof. Olivier De Schutter, December 2010: http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/officialreports/20110308_a-hrc-16-49_agroecology_en.pdf.

Jules Pretty et al., Resource-conserving agriculture increases yields in developing countries, Environmental Science and Technology, 40:4, 2006, pp. 1114−1119.

Contacts:

Marco Contiero – Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 (0)477 777034,

Mark Breddy – Greenpeace EU communications manager: +32 (0)496 156229,

 

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