Letter: Tests for modified food

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LAUDABLE as it may at first appear, testing for genetically modified (GM) food ingredients ("Test to spot modified foods", 6 April) will not solve anything for consumers, the majority of whom simply don't want the stuff. Given the huge number of GM food ingredients destined to hit the shelves over the next few years, testing for a few of them may help out in the first few years, but is likely to fall foul of the proliferation of tests needed to ensure a "non-GM" label.

What is needed now is not more laboratory tricks, but real political action, like that of Iceland Foods in declaring their own-label products non-GM. Other retailers and companies would do well to follow their lead. And, yes, I do mean political action by Iceland. Their activities are affecting the sources of power over what may turn out to be influential technologies. The lack of any meaningful involvement of elected politicians is their shame and our tragedy.

Dr DOUGLAS PARR

Campaign Centre Director

Greenpeace UK

London N1

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