The UK’s departure from the European Union could bring GM crops to our fields and our shopping baskets. Find out why and what you can do to safeguard our food and our farms.
GM Freeze is campaigning to protect UK farmers right to farm responsibly, fairly and sustainably and consumers’ right to make informed choices.
This means ensuring that the UK has:
Rigorous GM regulation that protects people, animals and the environment.
GM labelling that allows people to take control of what they are eating.
Protection from GM contamination.
Safeguard our Farms is our campaign to secure robust GM regulation and proper protection from GM contamination, as the UK leaves the European Union,
Don’t Hide What’s Inside is our campaign to ensure that the UK retains the requirement for GM ingredients to be clearly identified on food labels after Brexit.
If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please contact your MP, MSPs, AM or MLAs to highlight the risk that Brexit could bring GM to their fields, whether they want it or not.
Key Brexit issues that affect GM in food and farming
Withdrawal and retained EU Law
A no-deal Brexit could lead to an immediate and significant reduction in GM safeguards. Statutory Instruments will transfer EU regulations into UK law but they do not properly protect the devolution arrangements which have allowed Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reject GM crops. They also require UK agencies to carry out risk assessments and other technical work that is way beyond their current level of responsibility.
A withdrawal deal will probably commit the UK to following EU rules on GM in food and farming until the end of a transition period, currently December 2020. After that, the situation will depend on what trade deals the UK does with the EU, the US and others.
Outside of the EU, the UK will negotiate trade deals with other countries, including those that have much lower standards of regulation on GM food and crops. GM regulations have already been identified as a non-tariff barrier to trade so we know that they are vulnerable. GM Freeze has joined the Stop ISDS campaign to oppose the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement in any future trade deals.
A new approach to food and farming
Food and farming are key policy areas for change after Brexit. A new Agriculture Bill and a National Food Strategy are both proposed and Boris Johnson has spoken often of his intention to “liberate” the UK from GM safeguards.
Stay in touch, stay connected
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GM Freeze is part of the Sustain Alliance for Better Food and Farming and the Brexit Civil Society Alliance, which are both working to achieve the best possible policy outcomes as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
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This page was last updated on 29 October 2019