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HALF OF COUNCILS BAN GM FOOD IN SCHOOL MEALS

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More than half of all councils have taken genetically modified food off the menu for school children and the elderl...
More than half of all councils have taken genetically modified food off the menu for school children and the elderly, and many more aim to be GM-free by the end of the year, reports The Daily Mail (p35).

Around 250 out of 410 councils in England and Wales say they have banned GM ingredients from school dinners, meals on wheels and food served in care homes.

Yesterday the Local Government Association reaffirmed its opposition to GM food and called for a five-year freeze on its commercial introduction.

An LGA spokesman said: 'When local authorities say they don't want to use GM food it cuts a massive swathe through the industry.

'There is a significant groundswell of support against genetically modified food and the majority of councils agree that we should have a five-year freeze. That will allow time for the government and scientists to test the safety of the food and their impact on the environment. We are looking after children and elderly people and we can't put them at risk. They are the two most vulnerable groups.'

Maggie Bishop, environmental policy officer at Derbyshire CC, who was speaking at an LGA conference on the issue in London yesterday, said her authority had been bombarded with letters from concerned members of the public.

'As a provider of meals, the county council has become increasingly concerned about the presense of GMs in foodstuffs, given the claims and counter-claims appearing frequently in the media,' she added.

'Our concern seem to reflect those of the public and other organisations.'

The Independent (p6) reports that Ian Foulkes, head of environmental services at the LGA, confirmed councils' were becoming increasingly concerned about the issue. 'The vast majority of authorities have a definite view about GM food and most have decided to either ban, of begin the process of stopping the use of, GM food,' he said.

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