Green activist appointed to gene committee

日期:2019-02-26 06:18:15 作者:庾碇 阅读:

THE APPOINTMENT last week of Julie Hill, a leading environmental lobbyist, to the government’s advisory committee on the release of genetically modified organisms has been hailed as a victory for the green movement. However, many of those anxious to see a more open approach from government to the work of its advisory committees recommend caution before celebrating Hill’s new job. Their concern is that the government may try to present her appointment as placating people’s fears over the environmental effects of experimenting with manipulated organisms outside the laboratory. Hill, Parliamentary Officer of the Green Alliance, points out that at the moment her role is unclear. But she is in no doubt that her appointment is a positive step towards establishing designated seats on advisory committees for people from nongovernmental organisations such as hers. This is despite the fact that the department has been careful to define her role on the committee as that of ‘an individual’; she has no constituency. Tim Lang, formerly of the London Food Commission, argues that there is an unwritten assumption that such ‘individuals’ pass some of the information they obtain during their work on the committee back to their fellow workers, just as representatives from companies on the committee are assumed to be passing information to their colleagues. Hill would like to see the role on government committees of people like herself, for example representatives from consumers’ associations, made broader and formalised. She says she feels an obligations to help make the system of consultation between government and its committees more open. ‘The reason I have agreed to take this on is that it should give me an opportunity to help to shape legislation in this area. One of the most important aspects of the current legislation is public access to the information.’ Hill has not yet been asked to sign the Official Secrets Act,