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Wednesday, July 7, 1999 Published at 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK


Prince backs GM food campaigner

Prince Charles raised the issue of GM foods

A leading Scottish environmentalist says Prince Charles has urged him to continue campaigning against genetically modified food.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Kevin Dunion says the Prince offered the encouragement as he presented him with an OBE.

Mr Dunion received his award for services to the umbrella environmental group Friends of the Earth International, of which he is chairman.

[ image: Prince Charles: Environmental interests]
Prince Charles: Environmental interests
The organisation has been vocal in its opposition to genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

Speaking after the ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Mr Dunion said: "I am very pleased that Prince Charles made the presentation as he is a fellow environmentalist.

"He said he hopes that we are going to take forward our campaign on GMOs and I told him we aren't finished yet."

Prince Charles has voiced concerns about the implications of GMOs, sparking a wave of controversy and forcing the government to issue reassurances.

He also expressed interest in meeting Aberdeen-based scientist Dr Arpad Puzstai, who said his research showed rats fed on GM food were experiencing health problems.

Protest group

Mr Dunion said he believed he was first environmentalist from a protest group to be given an award.

He said: "I'm pleased that Friends of the Earth International has had its work recognised. There is now an alternative establishment that is being listened to.

"But I am not being drawn into the establishment - within days of this being announced I had a fair old spat with Scottish Environment Minister Lord Sewell."

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