During the last six weeks, unknown to most people, there have been a series of public debates up and down the country about whether the government should allow the commericalisation of GM crops in the UK. The deadline for public input is now over - did you have your say?
In an exclusive film made for Indymedia, people from all over the country reveal that the public consultation was a poorly advertised, ill concieved and miss-managed farce that failed to engage ordinary people. The film also demonstrates that much of the public believe that the decision has already been made to push ahead with GM (regardless of the will of the people) and that the government is an undemocratic tool of U.S. interests and big business.
GM Nation? The Public Debate. A sham and PR job; or an exercise to get "people at the grass roots level whose voice has not yet been heard to participate", "create widespread awareness among the UK population of the programme of debate" and "provide intelligent qualitative information about public views emerging from the debate in a report to Government" [aims & objectives]
Organised by an "independent steering group" on behalf of the government. The meetings have been running over June and go onto the end of July [list]. This is just one strand of the "national dialogue", the other two a review of the science and a review of the economics. The Strategy Unit were pretty on the fence about the ecomomics [Press Release].
Reports so far published on Indymedia from around the country about the debates have indicated that the people who have been involved have had a healthy scepticism. Reports from: Birmingham, Liverpool, Swansea and York . One can only wonder how the independent steering group will provide their qualitative information to the government.