Letter: Sainsbury hits back
Monday 15 March 1999
Wrong. Gatsby does not and has never funded development of GM Food for Sainsbury's.
On 22 January Friends of the Earth claimed I will be launching a video to convince shoppers that genetically modified food will do them no harm.
Wrong. A proposal was put forward in a report to Maff in 1998. I did not commission the report, I have never seen it, I have never discussed its contents and I understand Maff are not going to act on its recommendations.
On 25 January Friends of the Earth claimed that I was leading a plan to use supermarket loyalty cards to investigate the impacts of eating GM food.
Wrong. I have not been involved in any discussions along these lines.
On 19 February Friends of the Earth claimed that I used a visit to China and Korea to promote GM crops links between Britain, Korea and China and "visited various biotech bodies in China including the Institute of Plant Physiology in Shanghai".
Wrong again. The visit was undertaken to promote bi-lateral science links and covered a range of issues. I did not discuss UK GM food policy nor did I visit the Shanghai institute.
In his letter to you (11 March) Charles Secrett, director of Friends of the Earth, claims I took part in a discussion on GM food policy when I chaired a public meeting on the consultation on the biosciences.
Wrong. The minutes make it quite clear that no discussions of GM food policy took place.
Most recently I have been accused of making a loan to Diatech after I became a Minister and Diatech had been put into the blind trust.
Wrong. It is a matter of record that I had agreed and was contractually bound to make the loan and that I had paid the money before I became a Minister. The recording in Companies House of a charge over assets owned by Diatech was done after I had become a Minister, but this was an action taken by the trustee of the blind trust. Again, Friends of the Earth did not wait to check the facts before calling for my resignation.
The simple fact is that I have not taken any decision where I could have a conflict of interest. I have not broken the Ministerial code in any way, and I have not failed to register any interest I should have done.
On a separate point, Fran Abrams reveals ("Lord Sainsbury will head team promoting biotechnology firms", 12 March) that I am leading a task force in the DTI looking at biotechnology clusters. This was a published commitment in the Competitiveness White Paper and was announced in the House in December.
Minister for Science
Department of Trade and Industry
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
How the Other Half Eat, Channel 4 - TV review: Swapping food trolleys shows how food and class are closely connected
Noel Gallagher 'cannot wait' to hear Oasis-inspired One Direction album but rants about 'pointless' Tidal and Spotify
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils