Second resignation from the FSA's steering group on GM
02 June 2010
Professor Brian Wynne, vice chairman of a steering group set up by the Food Standards Agency to gauge the public mood on genetically modified (GM) food, has resigned in protest at the use of taxpayer's money to promote pro-GM 'propaganda'.
In an article printed in the Daily Telegraph today (2 June 2010), Professor Wynne said the public consultation was "rigged" from the start in favour of the controversial new technology.
Prof Wynne, a sociologist at Lancaster University, is the country's leading expert on public engagement with science and has also advised House of Lords and EU committees. He was vice chairman of a steering group of 11 experts appointed by the FSA in November 2009 to begin a dialogue with the public on the growing use of genetically modified crops in our food.
Prof Wynne said within a few months it became clear that the consultation was "rigged" to soften up public opinion on GM. "Apparently No. 10 was lobbied by the food industry on GM, the so-called public dialogue was agreed to and passed onto the FSA," he said. Prof Wynne resigned when it became clear that the consultation was biased in favour of GM. He said that the focus on science rather than corporate control of seeds, environmental concerns or food safety meant that the concerns of the public will not be heard.
Earlier in the week another member of the group Dr Helen Wallace, director of the non-governmental organisation Genewatch, resigned in protest at the FSA's allegedly close links with the agri-chemical industry. "Taxpayers will be shocked that the FSA is blowing public money on a PR exercise on behalf of GM companies," she said.