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Bayer board member Kemal Malik has painted a gloomy picture about the state of play in Europe for genetically modified (GM) cropping and the technology’s future. . . .
In a wide-ranging interview last week, he said Europe’s consumer rejection of GM crops and foods was an emotional reaction . . .
. . . .
“I think we’ve lost the debate on GM crops in Europe,” he said. “I don’t think there’s enough political will to challenge the debate.
“I don’t think the industry did the greatest job to be honest of taking the public and law makers with them in Europe.
“As an industry we were so convinced of the technology we thought it was obvious that it should be accepted by society (but) it hasn’t been and I don’t see that changing any time soon in Europe.”
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He said he spoke about the associated challenges with GM crops and scientific acceptance to politicians at the EU parliament in Brussels last month. . . .
Mr Malik said European legislation and treaties applied the precautionary principle that meant any harm should be avoided but an “innovation principle” was also needed to ensure Europe remained globally competitive.
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Mr Malik said the company didn’t expect laws and regulations to be made by industry or scientists and they should be made by politicians . . . But he said politicians should also listen to the scientific viewpoint but this had not occurred enough in the GM debate, which was partly industry’s fault.
“I think it is too easy for us as an industry to blame NGOs or whatever,” he said. “We didn’t engage enough at explaining this . . .and we’ve lost the debate.”
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