Uk Environment Secretary Slams ‘wicked’ Foes Of Genetically Modified Golden Rice

Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace said: Owen Paterson believes problems caused by vitamin A deficiency have one and only one solution: GM golden rice. And if you dont agree with him, you are wicked. There are more than half a dozen vitamin A strategies in use today. Golden rice is not one of them because it doesnt yet exist. I think hes falling into a trap over GM and I dont think he understands the issue. Hes swallowed the industry spin hook, line and sinker without talking to anyone with a different view. Its the politics, not the technology, that has failed to deliver access to a healthy diet for everyone. The World Development Movement in London said Paterson was not interested in the plight of malnourished people. Theres more than enough food to feed the worlds population the problem is access, said the groups policy officer, Christine Haigh. Malnutrition in the global south is almost exclusively a result of peoples inability to access enough food, or a sufficiently varied diet. The way to solve it is to improve incomes not to hand power to the multinationals that already control our food system, further squeezing producers and forcing them into an industrial monoculture production that posits golden rice as a solution rather than a problem. Scientists have pointed out that the rice is not a commercial venture and is not owned by western multinationals such as Monsanto or Bayer. There is much public support for golden rice in Asia but, unfortunately, some western NGOs have recently influenced local activists to destroy some of the field trials in the Philippines, which is very regrettable, said Denis Murphy, a biotechnology adviser to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.

UK to ease visa process for Chinese visitors

Photo: IC The UK has decided to relax its visa application processes for Chinese nationals entering the country, indicating that it is eager to take advantage of Chinese consumers’ buying power to boost its tourism industry, analysts said Monday. UK Chancellor George Osborne said to a group of university students in Beijing Sunday that the UK does not want to “resist your economic progress,” and that the country wants to “share it.” Osborne, who is on a five-day visit to China, is in the country at the same time as Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. Johnson arrived in Beijing Saturday for a six-day trade visit. According to Osborne, the UK will allow selected Chinese travel agents to apply for UK visas just by submitting visa applications for entering the European Union’s Schengen countries, which include major travel destinations such as Germany, Italy and France. Since the UK is not part of the Schengen area, Chinese visitors need to get a separate UK visa to visit the country. China Comfort Travel Group Co, one of the largest travel agents in the country, told the Global Times Monday that it will “definitely apply to be one of the selected agents,” but it has not received any application details or instructions from the UK embassy. Osborne also said that a new 24-hour “super priority” visa service will be introduced next summer, and the UK is also looking at expanding the VIP mobile visa service – currently only available in Shanghai and Beijing – to the whole country. Wei Changren, general manager of Beijing-based tourism industry research firm Jinlu Consulting, said that the UK’s new policies for “super priority” and VIP visa services are aimed at wealthy Chinese visitors. “High-end travelers visit golf resorts, stay in five-star hotels and take private jets. Local businesses make more profits from these activities than from groups of visitors doing regular sightseeing,” he said. In 2012, 210,000 UK visas were issued to Chinese citizens, who contributed around 300 million pounds ($479.28 million) to the British economy. Among them, a record 179,000 visitors from China went to Britain last year, according to the UK tourism authorities. The UK is one of several popular travel destinations that have been easing the visa application hurdles for Chinese citizens. Thailand, for example, is negotiating with China about waiving visa applications for the two countries’ nationals. Also, the US embassy in China has been pushing to extend the length of the one-year travel and student visa, which allows Chinese citizens to enter the US several times during that period.

Sun Shines on Ikea’s UK Residential Solar Initiative

Police were questioning four men in their 20s on suspicion of terrorism after they were detained Sunday in pre-planned, intelligence-led raids. A British security official said the men were planning a shooting spree akin to the Westgate attack in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people died. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media on the record said it was not clear how advanced the planning was but that any attack was not imminent. Metropolitan Police did not identify the suspects or say what, if any, charges, they may face. But in a series of statements, the force said the men were all British nationals between the ages of 25 and 29, with roots in Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria and Azerbaijan. The force confirmed that the London police firearms unit took part in the arrests. British police rarely carry weapons and their involvement suggested concern that men might have been armed. Dramatic CCTV footage has emerged of one of the arrests, in which counter-terror police are seen tackling a suspect on the street in an upscale west London neighborhood. Elsewhere, police fired special ammunition aimed at breaching doors or bursting tires to stop a car near the Tower of London, and arrested two 25-year-old men. Another suspect was arrested in southeast London. Officers were searching six locations and two vehicles in London following the arrests. Join the Discussion You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.

Official: UK Arrests Thwart Kenya-Style Plot

Now, with its solar offerings, negative impressions associated with Ikea’s disposable “stuff” could be tempered by solar panels in the stores. The company’s 2012 Yearly Summary launched its campaign of ” People & Planet Positive .” But the greenwashing of the last two decades has put consumers on alert to eco claims that are mere promotion. Ikea’s success with solar panels to generate energy for its own use has been much ballyhooed. Solar for consumers is its next big chance to reinforce its good guy mantle. Not a moment too soon. A just-released study by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility found that “…the sustainability proposition has changed from being the ‘right thing to do’ to being the ‘cool thing to do’. …For decades, green marketers have been speaking to the wrong consumers, assuming that by engaging the most committed ‘advocates’ we would create significant business growth, cultural relevance and change at scale. What makes Aspirationals so compelling is that they combine an authentic commitment to sustainability with a love of shopping, design and social status, aligning economic, cultural and social forces to shift the way we shop.” For consumers, Ikea’s long-admired design sensibility is intertwined with its sustainability. The chain’s commitment to affordability doesn’t have to fight with perceptions of sustainability. But Ikea must tread very carefully to preserve all three. A potential money-loser like solar panels could boost its environmental reputation and enhance its brand’s coolness.