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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

Action: Say NO to more GMOs in our food CLOSED

Plans have been released to allow yet more GMOs into our food. GM Freeze has submitted a detailed response, but it is important to demonstrate the UK citizens do not want a high-tech takeover of the food chain so please also respond to the public consultation by 6 December.

This action is NOW CLOSED

What’s happening

The Food Standards Agency (FSA – covering England and Wales) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) plan to recommend to Ministers that eight different genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are approved for use across the UK food chain. Two of the GMOs are already allowed in our food but their authorisation needs to be renewed. The other six have not been allowed in the UK before. All eight are engineered to poison insects, to withstand spraying with weed killers, or both.

In addition, Syngenta and Corteva Agriscience have applied to take over as authorisation holder for (between them) over 50 existing GMO food and feed use approvals. This won’t change which GMOs are allowed into the UK but it does highlight the control that these agrichemical giants have over the food chain, so you may want to comment.

GMO authorisations are devolved so the Scottish and Welsh Governments will each make their own decisions, while the UK Government will decide for England*. FSA and FSS are working together so the same advice will be given to Ministers in each country and both organistions look set to recommend approval of all eight GMOs. However, they have asked for our views so it is important that they hear from citizens who see no role for GMOs in a responsible, fair and sustainable food system.

* Northern Ireland currently follows European Union food rules, under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mother and child shopping imageHow to have your say

There are a few differnet ways to respond to this consultation. You can:

You might want to use the FSS website if you live in Scotland and the FSA form or email address if you live elsewhere in the UK but the two agencies are working together, so please use the method that works best for you. However you choose to send in your views, please be polite, use your own words and – most importantly, have your say by Tuesday 6 December. 

Useful things to consider in your response

The two online forms ask questions about the safety of the individual GMOs (sometimes referred to as products or “events”); the impacts of authorising (or NOT authorising) the GMOs; and any other factors that should be considered. The questions are posed in a way that encourages very technical responses but please don’t let this put you off. Consumers are an identified stakeholder group for this consultation and you are entitled to have your say. Just express your views in your own words, focussing on the reasons why you don’t want to see more GMOs allowed into the food chain.

Issues you might like to consider include:

  • These GMOs are not considered safe enough to plant in the UK. If we wouldn’t allow them to be grown here we shouldn’t be importing them from other countries.
  • No assessment has been made of the environmental or other impacts of growing these GM crops, which are all designed to prop-up the failing food system. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to reduce harm across the whole food chain and should not be “out sourcing” our environmental footprint.
  • Weed killer linked crops mean more chemicals will be sprayed on our food.
  • Insect poisons kill whole classes of bugs – they don’t differentiate between pests and beneficial insects.
  • Agricultural pests – both insects or weeds – are very good at evolving. The GM model responds to this with a chemical arms race, as we can see with the “stacked” trait GMOs that now feature multiple poisons and can be sprayed with cocktails of different weed killers. We need a food and farming system that works with nature, rather than trying to overpower it.

If you work in food or farming, or if you have any special expertise, please say so in your comments. If you are part of a group, company or other organisation that shares your views, consider whether you could submit a response on behalf of the organisation, either instead of or as well as your own as an individual.

Take action today if you can – the consultation closes on 6 December.

Other ways to help