EU red tape blamed for hunger

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The Independent Online
Excessive biotechnology regulation by the European Union is perpetuating mass hunger, according to the Social Affairs Unit (SAU). Biotechnology is the use of organisms or parts to create goods and services, such as the controversial genetically modified soya, or the "flava-sava" tomato.

An SAU report says such advances could make it possible to feed the world and with an ever-increasing world population - conservatively estimated to more than double to 11.3 billion by 2010 - agricultural production will have to increase dramatically.

But the EU's decision to operate on the "cautionary principle" - avoiding any potential risks, is censoring innovation, the report argues. Professor Henry Miller, former director of biotechnology at the US Food and Drug Administration, said: "Biotechnology is widely misunderstood. It is seen as a sci-fi Frankenstein monster."

Biotechnology Regulation, pounds 5, the Social Affairs Unit, 314-322 Regent Street, London W1R 5AB. Telephone 0171-637 4356