GM: The cover-up
Monday, September 18th, 2006
Revealed: Government food watchdog gave green light to supermarkets to sell ‘illegal’ genetically modified rice
Britain’s official food safety watchdog has privately told supermarkets that it will not stop them selling an illegal GM rice to the public.
Documents seen by this newspaper show that the Food Standards Agency assured major manufacturers and retailers 10 days ago that it would not make them withdraw the rice - at the same time as it was telling the public it should not be allowed to go on sale.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth has already found GM material in two types of own-brand rice sold in Morrisons supermarkets - in direct contravention of food safety regulations - and believes the GM rice is likely to be widespread throughout Britain.
But the agency has not carried out its own tests for modified rice in products on the market, and has not instructed retailers to do so. It says that the rice is safe, but some scientists disagree.
Last night, Peter Ainsworth, the shadow Environment Secretary, described the agency’s conduct as “a massive scandal” and said it “smelt of a cover-up”. He said he would be asking for an official investigation into whether the agency had broken the law..."