GM Foods: What the readers think: your letters

FOR a man who has always seemed to understand the issues that really matter to the public, Tony Blair's touch appears to have abandoned him on genetically modified food. Hundreds of letters we received last week had a common theme: anger and disappointment at the Government.

"Government has the ultimate responsibility for protecting us from potential hazards in the food chain," writes Stella Baylis from Leicester. "I have been sickened by the way this Government (for which I voted...) has not listened to its voters and those scientific advisers that advise more stringent caution and testing."

The Rev Canon Michael Austin of Southwell, Notts, says: "I write to associate myself wholeheartedly with this campaign. I do so as a member of the Labour Party who objects strongly to the Government's support of the biotech companies."

Eve Ohman of Silverdale, Lancs, writes: "I have been a great supporter of Tony Blair, but his view on this subject makes me really sad. What I cannot understand is this Government's attitude after the BSE debacle".

Vivien Heilbron of London SW6 writes: "As a Labour voter, and party member, I hope the Government realises what keen attention this debate is attracting with all its implications ... governments should represent the electorate's interests."

Farmers and scientists are among our correspondents, with R N H Sackur of Woolham Farm, Lincolnshire, pointing out: "We are not short of food ... inadequately researched new technology should not be allowed to threaten our future."

Professor Desmond Hammerton of Callander, Scotland, writes: "There is enormous scope for unregulated development and use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms in developing countries", while Dr P H White, of Reading, Berks, a retired physicist, complains: "There has been an absence of independent scientific evaluation or any study of the long-term effect" of GM crops. "It is still not too late for many of these studies, and permission to use genetically modified crops should be delayed."

600 readers have already written to Cabinet "enforcer" Jack Cunningham stating their views on GM crops and foods. If you want us to pass on your letter as well, write to GM Campaign, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

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