Prince Charles Squares off Against Tony Blair on GE Foods
Prince Charles web site:

Sunday Express (U.K.) 21 Feb 99
Charles Defies Blair on GM Food

by Andrew Pierce and Mark Fox

PRINCE Charles is locked in a battle of wills with Tony Blair over
genetically modified food. Downing Street is pressurising Charles to
withdraw his website, in which he describes GM food as a potential risk to
public health and the environment and an unacceptable challenge to the
natural order. A defiant Charles refuses to change the site which is visited
daily by thousands of people worldwide. In it he states: “We should not be
meddling with the building blocks of life in this way” Charles adds: “There
is an important public debate needed on whether we need GM crops at all.’'

The Sunday Express has learned that far from being silenced, the Prince will
continue to speak out strongly against GM food once the political
controversy has died down, so that he can capitalise on the new wave of
popular concern. Only last week he hosted a seminar at Highgrove with the
Soil Association to discuss the best way of taking his campaign forward.
With the Government increasingly rattled over the political fallout, Mr
Blair dramatically intervened yesterday. In a newspaper article. he refused
to bow to demands for a three-year ban on the commercial growing of GM crops
and accused the media and Tories of distortion. Ministers fear Charles's
outspoken comments, posted on his website in December - before the row
erupted over Science Minister Lord Sainsbury’s involvement with the biotech
Industry - will damage efforts to reassure the public. Downing Street took
the unusual step last week of phoning Buckingham Palace to advise the Prince
to withdraw the website comments. He was also advised to refrain from any
public comments until the political heat has cooled. Charles has decided the
site, due to be changed this week, will now remain for several more weeks.
As soon as the political climate allows, he will make an outspoken speech on
the issue. A Palace aide said, “The Prince feels very strongly this is
absolutely the right moment to drive home his long held concerns about this
sort of food. "He first made a speech on the subject two years ago. He is
determined not to be left out of a debate he feels he helped to start."

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