Report

first_imgConsumers want all genetically modified (GM) food products to be labelled, including those where GM is used as a processing aid or in animal feed, according to new qualitative research commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).The report, Exploring Attitudes to GM Food, found that consumers were confused by GM and wanted clear and accessible information from a variety of sources, including supermarkets. In particular, people wanted to know about the potential long-term societal and personal impacts of GM and the potential consequences for animal welfare. Negative attitudes about GM foods focused on perceived health and environmental risks and scepticism about the motivations of producers and regulators. As part of the research, participants in the survey took part in workshops where they were given a presentation by an FSA representative, who provided an overview of issues relating to GM food, including the role of the FSA. Attitudes following the presentation tended to be either more positive towards GM foods or there was no change in overall attitudes. The FSA has set up a steering group to canvass public opinion on GM foods.A Soil Association spokesperson said: “One clear result of the study is that there should be compulsory labelling on meat and dairy products from animals fed on GM feed.”last_img read more

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It’s not all about RVP – Monreal

first_imgArsenal’s showdown against new Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United on Sunday must not just be all about Robin van Persie, according to Gunners defender Nacho Monreal. Press Association Passions still run high among some of the Emirates Stadium faithful by the manner in which the Holland forward left last summer in a £24million move, and there have been suggestions those disgruntled fans will turn their backs in protest when the teams come out from the tunnel ahead of a guard of honour to mark United’s achievements. But Spain full-back Monreal said: “Teams like Manchester United don’t just have gifted wingers, they have a squad with a lot of depth. Their players are of the highest level, you can’t just focus on one player because their team is full of players who can create and score.” center_img Full-back Monreal, who joined Arsenal from Malaga in January, added: “We must be on our guard and be aware of certain key players, like Robin, who has scored a sack of goals this year and is playing well. He is one of their main threats. “They are one of the biggest teams in England and they are having an exceptional season. It is one of those games every player wants to be involved in, but there are three points at stake and that is what we are aiming for. They may be a very strong opponent, but we are also a very good team and can win the match.” Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, admits losing striker Olivier Giroud to a three-game ban is a “blow” – but one which his side must learn to deal with if they are to hold on to a place in the top four. Giroud was shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner in the final minute of last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Fulham for jumping into a challenge with defender Stanislav Manolev. Although Wenger initially indicated he felt the dismissal had been warranted, after review the club appealed, which was on Tuesday rejected by the Football Association. Wenger must now re-evaluate his attacking options for crucial games against United on Sunday, then at QPR and home to Wigan before Giroud, who has netted 17 goals, will be eligible again on the final day at Newcastle. “It is a blow that we cannot have him available. We will have to do without him and we will do it,” Wenger said. “It is a harsh decision. After the game, I was a little bit less convinced that he didn’t deserve the red card, but having seen it again, I feel it is completely accidental and a very minor incident.”That is why I decided to appeal. I am sad that it didn’t work, but we have to cope with it.” last_img read more

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Cycling: Armstrong backs investigation into murky past

first_imgLance Armstrong welcomed an investigative report into the murky past of cycling’s governing body and said he hopes it can help the sport move on from an era that will always be remembered for the doping by himself and others.The report turned up no evidence to sustain previous allegations that Armstrong paid the UCI to cover up a positive doping test back in his heyday, yet it explains in great detail how the UCI acted favorably toward Armstrong — a rider dubbed “cycling’s pop star.”The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) was requested by Brian Cookson, the current UCI president. Its report examined how the doping culture during Armstrong’s era was allowed to fester under the previous UCI leadership of former president Pat McQuaid and predecessor Hein Verbruggen.“I am grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing me to assist in that search. I am deeply sorry for many things I have done,” Armstrong said in a statement. “It is my hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport I love, and will allow all young riders emerging from small towns throughout the world in years to come to chase their dreams without having to face the lose-lose choices that so many of my friends, teammates and opponents faced.”Armstrong is trying to overturn a life ban imposed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He was stripped of his seven Tour titles for doping on every one of his wins from 1999-2005.Armstrong’s attorney, Elliot Peters, said Armstrong “cooperated fully” with senior investigators over two days, answering all questions “without any restrictions” and providing “all documents requested to which he had access.” In their affidavits provided to USADA — whose scathing report in 2012 exposed systematic doping by Armstrong and others — former U.S. Postal teammates Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis declared that Armstrong had told them separately that he tested positive for the performance enhancer EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.Landis claimed that the test was hushed up as a result of a financial agreement with Verbruggen.Armstrong was tested five times during the 2001 Tour de Suisse. Three samples were tested for EPO and they came back negative, although there was a “strong suspicion” that two of the “A” samples did contain traces of the banned blood booster, the CIRC report said — adding that it deemed inappropriate the fact that “Armstrong and his entourage were informed by the UCI of these suspect test results.”A year later, Armstrong sent Verbruggen a letter containing a check for $25,000 as a donation toward the fight against doping. Although CIRC has “not found any indication of a financial agreement” the report said the “UCI did not act prudently in accepting a donation from an athlete” already under suspicion.The collusion between Armstrong and the UCI’s leadership features strongly in the 227-page report. Armstrong’s lawyers were allowed to draft parts of a supposedly independent report, which sought to debunk French daily L’Equipe’s claims in 2005 that Armstrong’s samples at the 1999 Tour later tested positive for EPO.The independent report into the ’99 allegations, which was led by Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman, was heavily criticized because it “specifically excluded an examination of the EPO test,” meaning it deliberately avoided addressing whether Armstrong used the substance. The Vrijman report coincided with an agreement between Armstrong and the UCI that he would donate $100,000 for the purchase of a Sysmex blood testing machine. This prompted allegations that his latest donation to the UCI’s anti-doping cause was an indirect payment to help fund the Vrijman report and quash L’Equipe’s story.The CIRC did not find “any evidence to corroborate” such allegations but said the UCI acted improperly “in soliciting and accepting donations from an athlete” under increasing suspicion.The close-knit relationship helped Armstrong on the ’99 Tour when he tested positive for a banned corticosteroid. Armstrong did not declare pre-race that he was using medication — even though the argument he used for using a corticoid cream was to treat saddle sores. Rather than start disciplinary proceedings, the UCI accepted a backdated prescription and cleared him. Armstrong, having retired after the 2005 Tour, was also cleared by the UCI to make his comeback at Australia’s Tour down Under in 2009 — despite not being eligible because he had not been in the UCI’s doping testing pool for a six-month period beforehand.McQuaid first wrote to Armstrong, firmly telling him he could not race. But two days after that, McQuaid informed him that he could compete. The same day, Armstrong told McQuaid that he would race in the 2009 Tour of Ireland, which McQuaid was keen to promote in his homeland.In one email sent to McQuaid, written at the time of USADA’s impending investigation, a UCI consultant refers to Armstrong as “cycling’s pop star” and states clearly that for the sake of its image the “UCI has an interest that LA is acquitted.”last_img read more

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