Sunday, September 23, 2007

“Former” Environment Minister

Letter to The Guardian by Michael Meacher:

So the biotech industry is having another try. Having been defeated comprehensively in 2004 after the GM field-scale trials I set up, they have the gall to suggest (like the nuclear industry) that climate change might provide the way back in. Your report says an unnamed "senior government source" claims the tide will turn because, allegedly, GM crops are higher-yield and hardier to help feed the world's increasing population and will help provide biofuels to limit climate change. These claims are bunkum. The most authoritative study on crop yields - by Charles Benbrook, an independent US scientist - found that over a five-year period yields actually fell and pesticide use increased to deal with superweeds. The real answer to feeding a growing world population, in addition to more widespread family planning, is reversing the gross maldistribution of land in developing countries, phasing out the US and EU agricultural subsidies that wreck the market for developing-world farmers, and ending the rich countries' discriminatory trade policies. Any role for GM is, by comparison, piffling. The claim that GM will assist production of biofuels is equally mischievous. If it did this (which is unlikely), it would actually diminish the world's food supply, given the competition for land. If government officials were genuinely concerned about combating climate change, they wouldn't be making Monsanto's case to raise biotech's profits by cornering the world's food supply; they would be increasing the use of renewable energy, not expanding airports, and signing up industry to much tighter annual CO2 reductions.
Michael Meacher MP, Former environment minister

The key word here is “former”. Mr Meacher’s views are apparently not welcome in our “government of all talents”, just as anyone with any bio-diversity qualifications do not seem welcome in the corridors of Redbridge Town Hall.


  1. I wouldn't trust Michael Meacher if he told me the sky was blue and the sun rises in the East.

  2. “The skilful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.”
    Sun Tzu

  3. We shall see how skilful a deployer of men El Gordo PM will be.

    But somehow I don't think he'll be employing Zac Goldsmith or Selwyn Gummer (both so beloved of Guido) either.

    Maybe they should all join a new Big Green Tent Party - then we might actually get an Opposition back again.

  4. 'Skilful employer of men who employs stupid man ends up with empty bank account'

    Son Mac

    http://northern wreck

  5. He, he!

    Are you refering to NR investors, or the taxpayers who are bailing it out?

  6. The taxpayers, who like turkeys keep voting for Christmas.

  7. But hasn't stupid been the new clever, at least since Mr Loadsamoney and the new miracle economy that runs on a dream?

    Foolhardy politicians who would deny the masses that dream at this stage.