Soil Association report politically motivated
The publication of a report which is critical of the US experience of gene technology by the UK Soil Association is
politically motivated the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston said today.
“The report records the experiences of a number of individual farmers and appears to extrapolate these experiences into
“It is true that any farming system will have uneven results because of differences in the way individual farmers manage
the system. This may or may not be a reflection on the skill of the individual farmer and could just as easily be due to
localised environmental factors.
“The Soil Association report is liberally populated by the views of individual farmers who have been actively
campaigning against gene technology in the US and Canada. It is not a whole of industry study and therefore the
conclusions it draws are susceptible to major flaws in the interpretation of the data.
“It is important that the Report is put into context.
“It is being issued at a time that the UK Government is on the verge of making important decisions about the commercial
release of GM crops. The Soil Association admits the report has been designed to influence the decision making process.
“The Soil Association lists its anti-GM campaign as the main campaign it is involved in and the report has been used to
drive political action. As a piece of advocacy it is a cleverly crafted but biased presentation.
“A piece of scientific research it is not.
“The Soil Association is the principle organisation in the UK promoting organic production – it has a vested interest in
seeing GM technology excluded from UK agriculture.
“The report is misleading and cannot be relied on to paint an accurate picture of what is happening in the US and
Canada,” concluded Dr Rolleston.