Headlines: February 19th, 1999

The British Government Panel on Sustainable Development has called for the Government to prepare a comprehensive strategy on both the agricultural and medical uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).It is embarrassing timing for the Government, given the current assertions from the Prime Minister himself that food so modified is safe.

In its fifth annual report, the panel calls for guiding principles, safeguards, monitoring of results, and transparency as the practice spreads.

It also says the actions to date amount to ‘no more than a first step.’

The British Government Panel on Sustainable Development was established by the Government in 1994, its remit is to review sustainable development issues at home and abroad, identify major problems or opportunities likely to arise, to monitor progress; and to recommend priorities.

Copies of the fifth annual report are available on the panel’s website at www.open.gov.uk/panel-sd/homesd.htm