Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Wednesday, November 4, 1998 Published at 12:48 GMT


Call to ban school 'Frankenstein food'

After BSE, many councils banned beef from school dinners.

Genetically modified food should be taken off the menu for school dinners, says the Green Party in Leicester.

Geoffrey Forse, a spokesman for the city's Green Party, says that the council should not serve genetically modified food to children until it is seen to be completely safe.

[ image: The Green Party says the long-term impact on children's health cannot yet be known]
The Green Party says the long-term impact on children's health cannot yet be known
In response to questions from the Green Party, the city's education committee has agreed to investigate the use of modified food in school dinners, promising to report back to councillors in January.

Describing genetically modified produce as "Frankenstein food", the Green Party wants a longer period of study before foodstuffs including types of soya and tomato are included in school dinners.

"We should learn the lesson of BSE," says Mr Forse. "The dangers took a long time to work through and we shouldn't take any risks until we know the food is absolutely safe."

[ image: Soya products are among the genetically modified foods in school dinners]
Soya products are among the genetically modified foods in school dinners
"The idea of taking a gene from a fish and putting it into a tomato isn't natural - we just don't know the long-term consequences for health.

"If there is any question about its safety we shouldn't serve it to children. We should take things slowly - there might not be a cause for concern, but we can't be certain," said Mr Forse.

A spokeswoman for Leicester City Council said that at present only a small amount of genetically modified food was used in school dinners.

The council, which still excludes beef from its school dinners, will make an investigation into the available evidence before presenting its report in January.

The genetic modification of food is usually intended to improve a product's appearance, flavour or resistance to disease by introducing genetic material taken from another source.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

30 Aug 98 | Health
Genetic food labelling 'a con'

08 Jul 98 | Health
Genetically modified food to be scrutinised by doctors

Internet Links

Greenpeace campaign against genetically modified food

Food biotechnology benefits

Green Party

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'