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GM at the crossroads?

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The GM issues hangs in the balance in Britain and Europe

In Britain, the government's independent reviews of the science and economics, the field trials and public opinion have recently reported, but what will be the policy response?

In Europe, a regulatory committee has postponed a decision on the approval of a GM sweetcorn, much to the disappointment of some European states and the Commission. And with the US mounting a case against the World Trade Organisation, and regions such as North Austria and Wales going for GM free zone status - the GM debate is approaching another critical moment.

A public debate at LSE will consider the future of GM technology, the science and public and farming concerns, on Thursday 27 November. Speakers on the panel will be:

  • Sir Ben Gill CBE, current president of the National Farmers' Union
  • Professor Chris Pollack, director of the Institute for Grassland and Environmental Research in Aberystwyth and responsible for the Government's field-scale evaluation trials
  • Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP, former minister of state responsible for the environment and has been a staunch critic of the Government's pro-GM position
  • Professor George Gaskell, co-director of LSE's BIOS research centre and co-author of a report Ambivalent GM Nation? published in July, which charted public views on GM and biotechnology
  • Professor Tim Dyson, professor of population and development in DESTIN, LSE's Development Studies Institute, and co-editor of Famine Demography: perspectives from past and present (OUP, 2002).

LSE's Professor Yvonne Rydin will chair the debate, which is jointly organised by BIOS: centre for the study of bioscience, biomedicine, biotechnology and society, and the Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance (CEPG).

The GM Debate takes place on Thursday 27 November at 6.30pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE, Houghton St. London WC2A 2AE. This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first serve basis.

Ends

To reserve a press seat, please contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk|

Press cuttings

The Scotsman (27 Nov)
Distance growing equips farmers for GM crop production
Farmers have years of experience keeping different crops separate that would equip them well for growing GM produce, union leader Sir Ben Gill at LSE.

Updated 28 November 2003

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