This week we’ve pulled together a roundup of news posts relating to the US trade deal and Trump’s executive order. Jeffrey Smith will be going live to discuss this important news on Facebook today at 3:30 pm PST.
The UK must accept US food standards as part of any future trade deal with Washington, the head of America’s farming lobby has said.Zippy Duvall, head of the American Farm Bureau, said US farmers were keen to trade with their British “friends”. But he said fears over practices such as washing chicken in chlorine and using genetically modified (GM) crops were not “science-based”. Continue reading this article from BBC News here.
Boris Johnson has used his first speech as new prime minister to promote GM crops and support their de-regulation. Johnson said, “Let’s start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti genetic modification rules and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.” Continue reading this article from GM Watch.
Johnson has now hyped GM crops in no less than three separate speeches in his first three days as UK prime minister. Of all the issues that face the UK right now – a struggling national health system, the social care crisis, and persistent poverty and homelessness, just for starters – why is he focusing on this failed and unpopular technology to such an extraordinary degree?Look no further than the fact that as part of Brexit, the UK is seeking a trade deal with the US and Donald Trump. And Trump signed an executive order on 11 June 2019 telling his administration to urgently “develop an international strategy to remove unjustified trade barriers and expand markets for products of agricultural biotechnology” abroad. Johnson is simply dancing, puppet-like, to Trump’s tune. Continue reading this story from GM Watch here.
To date, just one GM crop is grown inside Europe – Monsanto’s MON810 maize – and even this is unilaterally banned by several member states. Last year many science bodies also rallied against an EU decision to include the more recent technology of gene-editing (GE) under the same rules that govern GM use. Gene-, or genome-editing, is promoted as a less-controversial approach because, unlike GM techniques, it does not manipulate DNA across different species. However, its inclusion under GM rules means it too faces lengthy procedures and hurdles before it can be commercialized. The restrictions and subsequent lack of progress for both GM and GE techniques had reduced the audible arguments between the polarised pro- and anti-camps.