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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

UK Gov Pro-GM Stance Challenged: Where are the markets and science?

Immediate release (20 Jun 2013)

Calls to: Pete Riley 07903 341 065

GM Freeze today challenged the UK Government to justify its position on GM crops following recent declarations by the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Minister for Science that the UK should embrace GM crops and seek “relaxation” of European GM regulations. [1] The organisation wrote to the Prime Minister asking a number of questions on the day of a speech by Secretary of State Owen Paterson that the media has widely reported will be been used as another platform to promote GM food and crops and attack the EU’s precautionary approach to the technology.

GM Freeze asks the Prime Minister:

  • Which EU regulations and/or Directives he is seeking to amend and how his Government intends to achieve these changes.
  • How Scottish and Welsh Government rejections of GM technology are reflected in his Government’s new vocal pro-GM stance.
  • Which GM crops currently in the EU authorisation pipeline he believes UK farmers can grow in our weather and why they should grow them given the widespread consumer rejection of the technology.

Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:

Changing the regulations on GM crop approvals is not something the UK can do without detailed negotiations with, and consent of, other EU Member States, and surely he can’t seek those changes from a UK platform without the agreement of the anti-GM Governments in Wales and Scotland.

Rather than making blanket calls for more GM the PM needs to be very clear with voters about what he intends to do and why he is rejecting scientific evidence gathered right here in the UK that GM cultivation harms hard-pressed farmland wildlife. Apart from any other considerations, citizens across Europe are unconvinced that GM crops are the way forward, and the UK economy simply cannot afford to ignore the demands of our main food market. GM Freeze has asked the PM to explain why his Government believes UK farmers should put their incomes at risk by growing crops no one wants to eat.




[1] Full letter text available at