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Complainant Name:
Dr Brian John

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sunday Telegraph

Complaint:

Dr Brian John of Newport complained that a report on a piece of research about GM crops was inaccurate and misleading.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter from the complainant:

‘Your article of 24 February (“UK farmers want to grow GM crops”) was clearly intended to promote the idea that the UK farming industry was enthusiastic about GM technology and was based on a press release issued by the Economic & Social Research Council. The researchers from the Open University interviewed just 30 “commodity” farmers and held workshop sessions with a further 20 or so representatives of trade organisations, research institutions and companies, some of which are directly involved in the promotion of GM technology. There was minimal contact with the “conventional” mixed farming community, let alone with small-scale or organic farmers. The sample was statistically insignificant. This was, to put it politely, a ludicrous piece of research. Given that the work was supported by the ESRC with £131,000 of public funding, why was such a huge sum spent on this propaganda exercise?’

Report: 78



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