Friday, June 27, 2003

An absolutely cracking piece of political satire from The Brains Trust. Yes, I know that's their raison d'�tre, stop being so pedantic. Anyway, this particular "story" is extremely funny and targets a politician who's got away with talking absolute rubbish for far too long [I should know: so have I]. Bravo TBT! Michael Meacher, the target of this superior lambasting, was formerly the Environment Minister (or Minister of State for Environment and Agri-Environment as he was officially known in the overblown way only the Establishment could come up with), and has long been infamous in the science community (as opposed to the art community) for such well-formed and rational opinions as finding GM "not necessary" (for isn't he clever enough to know what is good enough for the rest of us? Socialism in action!) or that "the real problem [of GM] is whether 10, 20, 30 years down the track serious and worrying things happen that none of us ever predicted". Like still having an extremely confused socialist in Government, to pick a totally random example? [Source: The Ecologist magazine interview with Michael Meacher]. Now he's been accused by Lord May of Oxford, a former chief scientific adviser to the Government, of "twisting the facts to suit the case against the introduction of GM foods". For example, Michael Meacher said that the notion of "substantial equivalence", which attempts to compare GM food with its non-GM alternative, was "scientifically vacuous" in an article for the Independent, but Lord May replied, quite correctly, that this concept "was being adopted by the World Health Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development". Lord May concluded that "Although Mr Meacher refers to our report, he conspicuously fails to mention its principal conclusion that there is no scientific reason to doubt the safety of foods made from GM ingredients that are currently available, nor to believe that genetic modification makes GM foods inherently less safe than their conventional counterparts", and that "The [Royal Society's] report pointed out that genetic modification may be used in future to improve the quality of food, which again Mr Meacher appears unwilling to acknowledge". Tut tut. Good riddance, say I. And just before I finish this no doubt misguided pseudo-rant, are you not wondering what Meacher said upon being appointed to the vice-chancellorship of a left-wing think-tank? This: "An independent voice of radicalism within the Labour movement is very much needed at the present time." Hilarious. -- Meacher, who for some reason is talking to a gendarme.


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