3rd Year Week 1 MT03
Topic: GM food
GM crops? No thanks
By Michael McCarthy Environment Editor
25 September 2003
Translate the following passages (353 words) into Chinese.
The title of the debate was "GM Nation?" But that is precisely what the
British people do not want their country to be, according to the official
report from the national consultation on genetically modified crops and food
presented to the Government yesterday.
The unprecedented test of public opinion, which over six weeks this summer
involved 675 public meetings and elicited more than 36,000 written
responses, revealed a deep hostility to GM technology across the population.
Alongside fears that GM crops and food could be harmful to human health and
the environment, the debate threw up widespread mistrust and suspicion of
the motives of those taking decisions about GM - especially government and
multi-national companies such as Monsanto.
On a whole series of questions GM-hostile majorities were enormous, with 85
per cent saying GM crops would benefit producers not ordinary people, 86 per
cent saying they were unhappy with the idea of eating GM food, 91 per cent
saying they thought GM had potential negative effects on the environment,
and no fewer than 93 per cent of respondents saying they thought GM
technology was driven more by the pursuit of profit than the public
interest. Figures in support of GM were, by contrast, tiny.
Even special focus groups, deliberately selected from people who were
uncommitted one way or another, to tease out the views of the "silent
majority", and whose members were initially prepared to admit the technology
might have benefits, opposed GM technology more the more they learnt about
it, the report discloses.
The extent and the unequivocal nature of the hostility revealed by "GM
Nation?" will represent a substantial political hurdle to those who wish to
bring the technology to Britain as soon as possible - led by Tony Blair and
his Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett, and the giant American and
European agribusiness companies such as Monsanto and Bayer.
Yesterday Mrs Beckett reaffirmed a promise that the Government would
"listen" to the views the debate has highlighted and respond to them
publicly, although she made no such pledge that it would take account of
them in deciding its course of action.