Sir,- I was pleased to read your report "Genetically, modified crops a risk to wildlife" since I feel that these "Frankenstein foods," as you put it, are being forced on to an unsuspecting public without thought or proper consideration of the risks.
We have been assured by scientists working for the companies that produce genetically modified food (GMF) that there is no risk to the public or to the natural environment.
In truth they cannot know this because there has been insufficient time to find out what the long term effects of these crops will be.
In America, because GMF is being grown on large scale, cross pollination is already widespread and it is impossible to turn back the clock. The same is not yet true of Britain.
I would urge your readers to write to their MP at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA and state that they do not want GMF to be grown in Britain until time has proven that there are no long term side effects. It is also safer, for the time being,to b oycott any foods that are labelled as containing genetically modified ingredients.
Birmingham Green party,
The freedom to
choose what to eat
Sir,- When the EU's Novel Food regulation became law in the 15 member countries, did the persons who were involved in passing this legislation realise that they had given the right to five or six multi-billion dollar seed and weed companies to change the very basic foods which we have all been brought up on all our lives?
And that it would also affect future generations too? Forever!
As soya is in about 70 per cent of our processed foods, and as ordinary soya and genetically modified soya are being mixed together, our freedom of choice will be taken away from us. Our rights to choose GM free foods will no longer exist.
This affects approximately 350 million people.
Until new legislation has been passed which bans the mixing of regular soya with genetically modified soya, or wheat, corn, maize or any other basic, staple foods, I will not give up my fight for the right for the freedom to choose what to eat.
Whole social fabric
of Redditch at risk
Sir, - The whole social fabric of Redditch is, in my view, at risk through the current proposal to revert to a "two tier" system of education, with entry to fewer enlarged high schools at 11 years of age. Borrowings in excess of pounds 20million areenvi saged, at high interest rates of course, if and when the whole of Worcestershire reverts to "two tier".
Yet not a sound educational argument has been put forward for the change. A change which has been finance led from the start.
Analysis of costings throughout the county, offered by a middle school chairman of governors, reveals that Redditch schools have lower per capita costs, than elsewhere in Worcestershire. We hear hints from "two tier" enthusiast councillors, that disposed -of sites and buildings capital receipts, will be played back into education. This myth is faithfully reflected in officer presentations, to staf governors and parents. Yet county council policy remains that all capital receipts are fed into a county poo l of receipts, when all spending committees can bid on a priority system for resources.
The Council has a policy of corporate management, which simply reads: "A more moral, intelligent and economic utilisation of scarce resources," which can mean what you want it to mean. When services are being reduced to the handicapped, with elderlypers ons homes being disposed of to the voluntary sector and higher charges made for services to the weak and vulnerable, then clearly education is at some disadvantage.
Other council services are desperately short of cash, as we read of in reports from spending committees. We are all campaigning for a fairer rate support grant settlement from a government that has always given preference to socialist urban areas inthe past, at the expense of the Shire counties.
To date, I have been inundated with letters from concerned parents, their views being reflected at public meetings, when I have yet to hear a voice raised from a pupil, parent, member of staff or governor, for the ditching of a tried and tested three tie r education pyramid system.
Redditch is unique. The new town master plan provided for such an educational system, when little children could walk safely to schools, without crossing busy peripheral roads.
Our schools are an integral part of local communities, being focal points and critical to community development. Clearly some rationalisation has to take place, but with wisdom and the utilisation of local knowledge and experience, rather than in the int erests of county finances.
The Educational Services Committee meeting at 10.30am on July 17 in the Council Chamber at County Hall promises to be interesting to say the least.
COUN C T WAREING
Crabbs Cross Division.
These are the
Sir, - Lucinda Edmonds wishes to disassociate herself from England and its revolting hooligan element.
May I remind Ms Edmonds of the following. Two Birmingham pubs bombed, a young boy killed by a bomb in a litter bin, people killed and injured by a bomb placed on a wall by a Cenotaph where people were paying homage to the dead of two world wars. An MP an d war hero killed by a bomb in his car, a woman killed by the IRA. Her crime? She gave a wounded soldier a drink of water.
May I suggest, Ms Edmonds, you take up Irish citizenship. With friends such as you we do not need enemies.
D J COLES
Your chance to
be on television
Sir,- Have you ever wondered where television audiences come from, and why programmes need them?
The answer is, they are actually people just like you and me, and they are important to quiz and game shows which need the atmosphere a live audience provides.
A bright and bubbly audience means a better programme. Among the popular audience shows recorded at BBC Birmingham are Call My Bluf Style Challenge and Can't Cook Won't Cook.
If you want to be involved in the magic of television, and would like to organise a group to come along to the studios, apply by sending me a SAE.
And the best part of all is - the tickets are free.
Room G06, BBC, Pebble Mill Road,
Now let's give
Paula a rest
Sir, - Ros Dodd (Post , July 6) rightly supported the view that excessive concern in Princess Diana is unhealthy.
This opinion, however, does not seem to apply to her lengthy and detailed contribution to your columns (Aspects, July 3) - a major feature recording the comings and goings, the stresses and strains of one Paula Yates whose personal problems (many selnfli cted) have already been the s01
(TT) The downturn in the world economy because of the Asian crisis will last a year longer than expected - until 2001.
The Economist Intelligence Unit warned that world growth is expected to slow from four per cent last year to 2.3 per cent this year and will remain below four per cent until after 2001.
It expected Asia to stagnate this year and predicted Japan is likely to be in a deeper recession than previously thought.
"Recovery from this global slowdown will be sluggish," said the EIU. "The crisis will be a drawn-out affair, with bankruptcies continuing throughout this year and into early 1999. A clear recovery in the worst affected economies is unlikely before 2000 o r 2001."
It predicted world growth will be three per cent next year, rising to 3.9 per cent by 2001 and climbing above four per cent in 2002.
But there was better news from the US, for which the unit revised up its forecasts, while Europe has weathered the Asian storm fairly well.…