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Friday, January 10, 2003

Friends of the Earth have called for Morrisons' take-over of the Safeway supermarket chain to be investigated by the Competition Commission.

The deal, announced yesterday, will give Morrisons around 16% of the UK's grocery market.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Sandra Bell said:

"The take-over of Safeway by Morrisons would put our whole food chain more firmly in the hands of a few big corporations. This is bad news for consumers, who will have less choice, small shops, who cannot compete against another all-powerful supermarket, and small farmers who are unable to stand up to the bully-boy tactics of the big buyers."

In other FoE news...

(1) The UK's Department of Trade + Industry has announced legislation which will allow the Government to transfer the costs (£3+ billion) incurred by British Energy in dealing with nuclear waste onto the tax payer.

A note from Matt: The Royal Society published a report in March 2002 which said that the safe disposal of already accumulated military + civilian nuclear waste would cost approximately £85 billion! (see page 4 point 3.3 of the report for more details).

(2) The US is threatening to bring an action under the WTO against the EU moratorium on licensing new GM food and crops.

Commenting, Friends of the Earth’s GM campaigner Pete Riley said:

“The European Union is perfectly justified in sticking to its moratorium on GM food and crops. This technology has not been properly tested, it threatens our environment + is deeply unpopular throughout Europe."