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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

Action: Say NO to GM brassica field trial

The John Innes Centre has applied for permission to plant experimental GM brassica at their farm in Norwich. Please let Defra know by 4 March 2019 that you do not want this field trial to go ahead.

GM Freeze will be submitting a detailed objection but it is important that Defra also hears from concerned individuals and groups on or before Monday 4 March.

You can email (including application reference 19/R52/01 in the subject) or write to GM Team, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Second Floor, Seacole Building, Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

Full details of the application and the public consultation are published on the Defra website.

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Our tips

  • Make it clear you are responding to the consultation on application number 19/R52/01 and that you do not want the trial to go ahead.
  • Use your own words. The notes below will help but don’t copy and paste as this could lead to your submission being side-lined.
  • Be polite and avoid making claims that you cannot back up. We can provide references for all of the points listed below.
  • Send a copy of your objection to your MP.
  • Please send us a copy of your submission and any replies you receive.

What’s wrong with this trial?

The John Innes Centre researchers want to plant a genome-edited crop, but have not checked for unplanned changes to the plant’s DNA or other errors that might have been caused by the genome-editing process.

Brassicas are widely grown in the area near the proposed GM field trial. Pollen or seed from the trial could escape and contaminate them.

If you are a farmer or grow brassicas in your garden or allotment, you may want to mention this. Brassicas include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, oil seed rape and cauliflower. They are well known for inter-breeding.

This is a research study investigating the function of a gene and it should be carried out in a contained environment. If the John Innes Centre doesn’t have a suitable facility, they should invest in one, rather than risking environmental harm and contamination by growing experimental plants in an open field.


Other ways to take action

Help us keep saying no

Work opposing this trial is funded by donations from people like you.

If you can afford to contribute financially, please give what you can to allow us to make more noise about risky GM field trials.