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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM Freeze Celebrates a GM-Free New Year in UK Fields

Immediate release (30 Dec 2013)

Calls to: Helena Paul 0207 431 4357

GM Freeze today offered congratulations to farmers and consumers as 2014 marks the first year since 2007 that no GM trials will be conducted in UK fields, and no new GM field trials are expected.

Different GM potatoes have been trialled in Leeds, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in recent years, and GM wheat was trialled during 2012/13 in Hertfordshire, but the end of the GM wheat trial leaves zero GM in UK fields. [1] According to the UK Government, “Defra currently has no [GM trial] applications under consideration.” [2]

GM Freeze Director Helena Paul said:

We’re celebrating a GM-free 2014 in UK fields – long may it continue. We congratulate the millions of UK farmers and shoppers standing up for what is right for their businesses and families, and we’re standing right beside them.

No matter what it says, the GM industry just hasn’t produced anything UK farmers can use or that consumers want. Instead the industry colludes with the Government to rig public dialogues, botch consultations, remove necessary regulations and proposes using public money to force pro-GM “education” onto the curriculum. [3]

The aims of the GM wheat trial were never clear, despite the legal requirement for this information to be public before consent for such trials can be granted. [4] We know that over the longer term GM crops cause more problems for farmers than they solve, and GM Freeze still wonders why the many risks were taken for such an unclear goal – unless it was simply to attract funding for further GM research and development. Of course it is also possible the consent given was the result of an assessment process that lacked the necessary rigour to comply with the law.

In any case we hope that the science establishment in the UK has learned that there is plenty of important and highly productive non-GM research needed, and the UK should be aiming to emerge as a centre of excellence in these areas rather than pursuing unnecessary GM crops that no one wants.

ENDs

 

Notes

[1] GM Freeze, 7 June 2010. “GM Potatoes – Expensive and Unproven: £1.7 million and 10 Years for One Trial

and

GM Freeze, 14 May 2007. “GM Potato Trial Cancellation has Wider Implications

[2] Defra, 22 November 2013. “Genetically Modified Organisms: Applications and consents

and

Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) Regulations 2002, Schedule 1, part VI: Information to be included in applications for consent to release or market genetically modified higher plants says, “30. The purpose of the release of the genetically modified plant, including its initial use and any intention to use it as or in a product in the future.”

[3] GM Freeze, 31 Oct 2007. “Internal Documents Reveal Government Collusion with Industry on GM Potato Trial

and

GM Freeze, 27 May 2010. “Pro-GM Bias in FSA ‘Dialogue’ Contractors: Heads Should Roll

and

GM Freeze, 2 June 2010. “FSA’s GM ‘Dialogue’ in Chaos as Second Steering Committee Member Resigns

and

GM Freeze, 25 October 2012. “Monsanto Meets Ministers to Push Return of GM Crops to Britain

[4] GM Freeze, 3 June 2013. “Joint Statement Challenges Basis for GM Wheat Trials