F.I.T. only for the waste bin
The 'British National Survey on Genetically Modified Foods', currently being conducted by the Food Information Trust, is one of the most blatantly biased and unscientific studies we at SIRC have ever encountered.
Accompanying the questionnaire, sent to 'Friends' of the FIT, is a letter from the co-director, Tim Lobstein – a well-known campaigner against genetic modification. He writes: "Genetically modified crops are new organisms . and unlike any living thing which has ever grown on this planet. Nobody can be quite sure about the benefits they may bring, or the harm they can do." This is quickly followed by: "While the government and the food industry tell us that everything will be okay, your Survey responses will help us at the Food Information Trust to develop and distribute a better view of the general public's opinions on GM foods . it can help shape the way in which the UK deals with GM crops in the future."
More anti-GM propaganda is contained in the letter and on the questionnaire itself is an instruction: "Before you give us your answers, here are some useful facts." These 'facts' include statements such as "it is almost impossible to be sure which processed foods contain ingredients and additives made from genetically modified crops" and "the only guaranteed sources of GM-free foods are those products marked as being organically produced." After digesting such misinformation, FIT's 'friends' are then invited to respond to leading questions such as "what specific groups of people do you feel may be at particular risk from the unknown consequences of eating foods made from GM ingredients?" Finally, they are urged to make a donation of £10 or more to fund "more research to reveal the safety and health consequences of eating GM foods."
This whole approach so blatantly biases the responses of an already 'sympathetic' sample that it renders the results of the survey totally worthless. Lobstein, however, claims that the aim of the FIT and its survey is "to provide reliable, independently researched information on the food we all eat."
This is deceit of breathtaking proportions. The survey is clearly neither 'National', in the sense of balanced representation of the 'British Public', nor is it in the slightest regard 'independent'. And yet it will undoubtedly be touted as further 'evidence' of the nation's concern about genetic modification – concerns which have already been unnecessarily heightened by unfounded scaremongering and images of Frankenstein's monster.