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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM groups call on the public: Ask Ministers to reject plans to deregulate genome editing

Immediate release (2 Jul 2020)

Liz O'Neill - liz[at] 07811 211 404

Three of the UK’s largest GM campaigns – GM Freeze, Beyond GM and GMWatch – have joined together to oppose an amendment to the Agriculture Bill that would give the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice, the power to change the definition of a GMO and re-classify many forms of genome editing as non-GM.

The amendment will be discussed at Committee State in the Lords, beginning 7 July and If adopted it would mean that those techniques were no longer regulated (meaning no safety checks or GM labelling) and could be used on our farms or in our food without our knowledge or consent.

The groups are asking that citizens write to both George Eustice MP and Lord Gardiner of Kimble, who are jointly tasked with seeing the Agriculture Bill through to completion, and urge them to reject Amendment 275 to the Agriculture Bill that plans to deregulate a range of genome editing techniques by changing the definition of a GMO.

The citizen action is being hosted on both the GM Freeze and Beyond GM websites and is supported by detailed information in the form of:

An ACTION BRIEFING which lays out key concerns about the process of genome editing and the impacts of the proposed amendment on our food system.

A POLITICAL BRIEFING which focuses the undemocratic nature of the amendment and concerns about transparency and the undermining of Environmental Protection Act.

An IN-DEPTH ARTICLE addressing the science of genome editing and the myths that it is precise, safe and controllable.

The briefings provide the members of the public and interested groups with the information they need to write an effective letter calling for the abandonment of the amendment.

Further information and comments from:

Liz O’Neill, GM Freeze: liz[at], 07811 211 404

Pat Thomas, Beyond GM: pat[at], 07920 231 240

Claire Robinson, GMWatch: claire[at]