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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 82 (Spring/Summer 1999)

Firstly, let me draw attention to a change of address. The old address will be accessible for at least some months, so there is no need to worry if you have already written to the old address. Next, I have raised the price to 95 pence per copy (UK post) 3-80 for 4 issues. I trust this price is widely affordable. It should provide funds for potential improvements. Finally, I apologise for not having produced an issue in the Spring, But I was too busy until this month.

Cattle feed problems continue to stay in the news. BSE (mad cow disease) has been under investigation for the way the crisis was handled politically and it seems the politicians were declaring 'beef is safe' when in fact scientific advisers were giving no such assurances. In other words, politicians are afraid to upset the farming lobby and of causing commercial losses, and do not give priority to the safety of consumers, which should be their function.

A food scare of similar proportions arose in Belgium, where animal feed became contaminated with deadly dioxin. Again politicians failed to make consumer safety a priority and delayed before releasing any warning. This led to a massive withdrawal of stocks from shop shelves and a possible loss of consumer confidence.

This should have an effect on the arguments about Genetically Modified plants. The public are showing great concern about this new scientific process, insisting on labelling, so they can make their own choices. They are no longer accepting scientific pronouncements as safe and unassailable. They want to be given more facts to have a chance to decide for themselves on such important issues as their own health. Given enough information, they may even conclude that the vegan way is the safest and healthiest way of life.

Enjoy your summer!

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Cross-reference: BSE/CJD
Cross-reference: Genetically Modified Food