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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Papers scent trouble for GM
It is a delightful and, one suspects, not entirely accidental layout co-incidence.

The Times positions its coverage of the great GM debate next to a picture of a toddler bestride a vegetable the size of an over-inflated space hopper.

It is this year's record pumpkin, weighing in at 791lb, which was grown by Mark Raymont from Cornwall.

A monster it may be, but not quite the sort of "Frankenstein Food" the Daily Mail believes should be abandoned following Thursday's report on the harmful effects of some genetically modified crops on the birds and bees.

The paper believes the death knell has sounded for the technology, and it is about time Tony Blair acknowledged it.

'Fear of the new'

The Independent calls the findings a massive blow to the case for GM crops.

But the Daily Telegraph feels those who think the field trials have raised the spectre of an agricultural holocaust are wrong.

It concludes the only motive for anti-GM feeling is the fear of the new.

The Guardian carries a cartoon featuring Eve in the Garden Of Eden.

She is eyeing an apple on a tree. "All right," she's telling the serpent. "As long as it's not GM."

'Barclays plank'

Staying in a loosely Biblical mode, those money-lenders are getting a bad press again. Well, one in particular, actually.

He is the chief executive of Barclays, Matt Barrett, who admitted on Thursday he does not borrow on credit cards, because they are too expensive.

The Daily Mirror dubs him the "Barclay's Plank", calling his remarks a "spectacular own goal".

The Daily Telegraph draws comparisons with another boss, who openly derided his own firm's products. He has, says the paper, done "a Ratner".

To the Sun, he is the "Barclays' Berk", and the newspaper wonders what hope there is for the rest of us, if he cannot afford it on his 1.7m salary.

The Express thinks he has shown nothing but disdain for his customers.

If they have got any sense they will show him they are not prepared to be fleeced and ridiculed, by boycotting all Barclays products, it says.

Queen's EU concerns

The Sun has taken up the story of the Queen's apparent concerns about the effect the new European Union constitution may have on her role.

It's "ER versus the EU" according to the front page headline.

Inside, there is a trick photograph of Mr Blair and other EU leaders on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

This is the way things might look, it warns readers, if the prime minister has his way.

IDS up and downs

The rollercoaster continues for the embattled Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith.

The Telegraph says he has lost the confidence of the executive committee of the backbench 1922 committee, who now see a leadership challenge as "inevitable".

But there is perhaps more comforting news in a survey in the Times.

It suggests widespread support among senior party figures in 50 of the most marginal Tory seats.

Finally, the Daily Mirror says plans are afoot to flood much of the centre of Bradford to turn it into a "modern-day Venice".

Apparently, the company behind the idea were also involved in proposals to re-vamp the centre of Barnsley in the style of a Tuscan hill village.




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