Prime Minister Johnson stated almost immediately he came to office: “A bioscience sector liberated from anti-genetic modification rules…we will be the seedbed for the most exciting and most dynamic business investments on the planet.” Johnson’s government is highly secretive about its objectives in any forthcoming US-UK trade deal and the public are being kept in the dark, whilst the US has been more explicit. The head of America’s powerful farming lobby has suggested that Britain must accept US food standards such as allowing chlorinated chicken and genetically modified crops as part of any post-Brexit trade deal.
I can remember in the mid-1980s fighting a surreal battle with the UK government, where food was being placed under the official Secrets Act, to assist Corporations in not revealing food compositions and particularly pesticide contamination, with regards to safety and health. It was a busy time for activists, who were challenging Power and its strategy of secrecy, in order to maintain control, authority and influence (Blog: Power – strategies and goals vs egalitarianism) ……… “I met up with the American Jeremy Rifkin in 1988 who was a long-standing critic of the biotechnology industry then emerging. He was in London to spell out the potential risks associated with the new generation of GM food or biological products. One of his major battles had been the four-year battle in California to prevent the release of a genetically engineered microbe called ‘Frostban’, which was designed to protect strawberries from frost damage. Rifkin argued the threat to biodiversity and thought that by knocking out a naturally occurring microbe by the Frostban microbe, that this ultimately might threaten rainfall. He lost the battle however and the courts finally granted the company – Advanced Genetics Incorporated, permission to proceed with trials” (The Cancer Files). “Rifkin argued at the time: “The scale of risk is enormous”. He warned of the more frightening prospect that the US patent Office was extending patenting laws to include all higher forms of animals: “altered or mutated by genetic engineering or other techniques”. Rifkin said to me at the time: “It’s a step nearer to a brave new world”. He fumed: “How can you own a species that’s been around thousands of years just because you tinkered with it – a horse is a horse – right? The guy at the Patent Office said no, that’s not quite right, a horse is just a temporary situation – it only represents a certain amount of information, and that can now be changed”. Meaning as we all suspected that everything was up for grabs – all for commercial exploitation and profit – unbridled greed definitely emerged in the 80s”(The Cancer Files)…..