MEP accuses Blair of betrayal over GM labelling

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Related tags: Prime minister of the united kingdom, United kingdom

Welsh MEP Jill Evans recently accused UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
of betraying the public's interests

Welsh MEP Jill Evans recently accused UK Prime Minister Tony Blair of betraying the public's interests by rejecting EU plans to introduce stricter labelling rules for the sale of genetically modified foods. The leader of Plaid Cymru the Party of Wales in the European Parliament has criticised the Prime Minister for ordering his officials to block moves by the European Commission which would require all foods, cooking oils and animal feeds to state whether or not they contain traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Currently only foods known to contain more than 1% GM ingredients require labelling. Ms Evans, who is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment and Public Health, said, "In refusing to support more thorough labelling Tony Blair is effectively denying the public a right to choose whether or not to buy food produced from GMOs. Without the new labelling rules people in the UK will not be able to make an informed choice. "This is a clear betrayal of the public's interests and does nothing to restore consumer confidence in food safety."​ In a statement Ms Evans referred to the understanding that the government's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs backed the proposals but was overruled by Downing Street and the Department of Trade and Industry, which heavily support the biotechnology industry. She added that the Government now faces a direct clash with Brussels, which is determined to defend the proposals drafted by David Byrne, the consumer safety commissioner, and Franz Fischler, the agriculture commissioner.

Related topics: Safety, Regulation, Europe