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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Firms cited as 'planet trashers'
Environmentalists want an end to GM crop field trials
Environmentalists want an end to GM crop field trials
Four companies owned or operating in Scotland have been added to a "global role of dishonour" by environmental campaigners.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has put the names on a list of what it describes as the biggest "planet trashers", which will be presented at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

British Energy, which runs Torness and Hunterston nuclear power plants, Harris superquarry firm Lafarge and GM crop trial company Aventis CropScience join Esso on the list.


Their performance here in Scotland is inconsistent with the image they want to give at that global gathering

Kevin Dunion
Friends of the Earth Scotland
Friends of the Earth is calling on the corporations to clean up their acts.

It wants world leaders meeting at the Earth Summit to introduce global rules for business in order to protect people and the environment.

The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September.

FoE Scotland will be represented by its chief executive Kevin Dunion.

He explained that the last summit in 1992 had given organisations like FoE the task of reporting on the performance of governments and companies at a local level.

Radioactive waste

Mr Dunion said British Energy, Aventis and Lafarge were "companies who will be present at the world summit and deserve to have attention drawn to their performance here in Scotland, which is inconsistent with the image they want to give at that global gathering."

He said British Energy had been targeted for "trying to belatedly portray themselves as an answer to climate change".

He said that the problem of climate change could not be tackled by creating another problem, that of radioactive waste emissions.


We don't give off any greenhouse gases and we consider ourselves part of the environmental solution

John McNamara
British Energy
However, John McNamara of British Energy said Friends of the Earth were wrong.

"I don't think they have really done their homework on this," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

"They are right in that nuclear power is good for the environment. We don't give off any greenhouse gases and we consider ourselves part of the environmental solution.

"We don't add anything else to towards the causes of global warning."

Mr McNamara said he "took the point" about nuclear waste.

GM contamination

However, he added: "We must remember that we are the only large-scale energy producer that can account for all of our waste."

He said the technology to deal with it was available, but a political move towards establishing long-term storage was required.

Aventis CropScience, which is trialling genetically modified rape seed in Scotland, is accused by FoE of having a "cavalier" approach to GM contamination.

Kevin Dunion:
Kevin Dunion: Attending Earth Summit
It emerged last week that seeds from a GM crop experiment became mixed with a strain unauthorised for planting.

UK ministers said the mix-up - which occurred during the seed production process - does not threaten the environment or make the experiments invalid.

However, the Scottish Executive said it was a "serious breach" of GM regulations.

Lafarge - the company which has proposed a massive a superquarry on the Hebridean island of Harris - is criticised for persevering with the plan despite local and government opposition.

The campaigners, who also name Esso, want global corporations to clean up their acts and world leaders to introduce more regulation.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Elizabeth Quigley
"The next stop for Friends of the Earth is the earth summit"
Kevin Dunion, Friends of the Earth Scotland
"FoE is calling for a convention on corporate accountability"
John McNamara, British Energy
"We know where all our waste is"

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15 Aug 02 | Scotland
03 Nov 00 | Scotland
13 Aug 02 | Scotland
13 Aug 02 | Business
03 Sep 01 | Scotland
22 Aug 01 | Scotland
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