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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

Cultivating Fear or Misleading Viewers?

Comment (9 Jun 2015)

Press contact Liz O’Neill tel: 0845 217 8992 email: liz [at]

Responding to BBC One’s Panorama programme GM Food – Cultivating Fear (broadcast on Monday 8 June and available to view in the on BBC iplayer), GM Freeze Director Liz O’Neill explains why viewers may have been misled.

The Panorama programme focused on two examples of “new GM” but failed to acknowledge how they fit into the bigger picture. The potatoes discussed will not be ready for cultivation for at least a decade and the aubergine trial represents a minute proportion of the GM grown around the world today. The GM crops that are creeping into our food and have pretty much taken over the market for animal feed are all grown on vast monocultures controlled by huge multinational corporations. Most are adapted to withstand repeated spraying with pesticides, especially glyphosate which was recently classified by the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency as a probable human carcinogen.

Concern about GM is not about superstition or ideology. GM Freeze calls for a moratorium on GM because we want everyone’s food to be grown responsibly, fairly and sustainably. All the evidence tells us that GM currently works against those values.

GM Freeze tweeted live responses during the programme, the most popular being:

People aren’t hungry cos no GMO, they’re hungry cos they’re poor and we take more than our share BBCPanorama

If you’re going to talk GMO and cancer you need to talk glyphosate – classified as carcinogen by WHO BBCPanorama

GMO brinjal IS still being sprayed with pesticides. GM only addresses one pest at a time BBCPanorama

We produce enough food for 14billion. We need to share it out, not turn to GMO bbcpanorama