In spite of repeated requests by the organizer before the meeting, the GM Nation was unable to provide a contact of somebody who could speak for the GM case. The organizer had to stand in for such a person by reading out the official points in favour from a printed sheet. These were the litany of lies which we are already familiar with. (The unofficial justification, which is clear, is that Monsanto has bought and paid for the UK govt, who must now do their bidding.)
There is a technical problem with holding an "unbiased discussion" on a subject such as this. The arguments are so clearly at odds with the public interest that the balanced position is a very biased point of view. Imagine listening to a balanced argument for and against murdering your own children.
Also, when one side is allowed to lie continually without being held to account, the other side is at a disadvantage. Just because that's what corporations always do, and we expect it of them, doesn't mean we should put up with it. We should start to get very angry. When the anti-GM side makes a sweeping claim that has one element of exaggeration in it, the professionally funded pro-GM campaign latches onto it and misrepresents it for years. We should not be satisfied with this inequality.
So, we filled in our GM nation forms and sent them off. You can't order any more from GM nation because they've run out and don't have money to print any more. You can still fill in responses on their web-page, at www.gmnation.org.uk. The debate closes on 18 July.
On the 19th of July I intend to start phoning them to ask for the results. I expect they'll have problems adding up the numbers, even though its multiple choice. (Bad figures always take longer to add up.) We should demand to see them, so they don't get thrown in the bin because it came up with the "wrong" answer. They know exactly what public opinion is on this subject, so this charade is pointless, except they'll try something like it again and again until they obtain the vote they want, and can finally inform us of our opinion.
This will go down the memory hole, like those other two "public consultations" I participated in over the past year, one for UK participation in America's Ballistic Missile Defence, and the other for the National ID card. Heard of them? Didn't think you had. Those who did respond in the time frame required told the policy makers to get lost. And the results were buried.
For the time wasting we have put up with on this GM debate, we must demand that the results be published in full with no lies. We have a right and are all qualified to see them without the benefit of government spin.