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Citizens Concerned About GM – a new people’s campaign

16 May, 2012

The use of genetic modification (GM) in food and farming is on the increase and is being heavily promoted by government- linked industry.

But evidence continues to emerge of the very real risks:

  • to human and animal health
  • to biodiversity and the environment
  • of contamination of non-GM crops

These risks are ignored by Government and the media

In the last 6 months the UK government, researchers and industry have launched a media drive to convince YOU the public that GM technology is the future for food and farming and is the only way to “feed the world”.

In fact we already produce enough food globally to feed 9 billion people – two billion more than we have. Hunger, malnutrition and starvation are the result of an intersection of free market economics which treats food like a commodity and of unforgivable waste which sees one third to one half of all food produced thrown away. GM technology cannot ‘fix’ these problems, nor is it delivering on its many promises to do so.

Concerns about GM – about how it is regulated, how it is used and its consequences – are being sidelined. Impartial studies that question its value are being ignored– including the landmark 2008 UN/World Bank backed assessment The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Report, written by 400 independent scientists.

The BBC and most of the media are not asking the questions that need to be answered. They are not reporting concerns and seem to have bought wholesale the pro-GM line.

We do not believe that this is either right or responsible

Here are seven concerns that are not being addressed at all:

1 GM pesticide found in 93% of baby foetuses in a Canadian trial. Governments and regulators have always said this could never happen!

2 The same trial found GM pesticide in the blood of 67% of non-pregnant women…. again they said it could never happen!

3 Animal feeding trials consistently show kidney, liver, reproductive damage and allergenic responses from GM feed. These trials are dis­missed by GM regulators. Why?

4 Contamination of non-GM crops and wider contamination of the food chain including oil seed rape, soya, maize, linseed and honey is endemic. Some US, EU and Indian courts are beginning to award dam­ages but regulators continue to dismiss the problem. Why?

5 The use of Roundup, the GM-linked herbicide, has dramatically increased leading to resistance in over 20 weed species in the US alone. How does this benefit farmers or the public?

6 GM extravagant claims and ‘promises’ have not materialised – drought resistance, salt tolerance, nitrogen fixation, nutritional benefits and consistent yield increases have never happened – why not?

7 GM seed costs have increased by 10 times in the USA. In one region of India 209 farmer suicides in 2011 were attributed by a govern­ment report to the GM cotton economy, i.e. seed price increases, crop yield collapse and market loss. These are just a few examples of how GM has increased to breaking point the financial pressure on farmers.

Realistic, environmentally friendly and socially fair solutions to the problem of feeding the world’s population are being ignored as gov­ernments and industry blindly pursue the GM agenda at any costs. Why?

Join our ‘people’s campaign’

Citizens Concerned About GM is a group of people who want a real debate about genetic modification; who want questions asked and answered; open, transparent discussions that are not dominated by the interests of multinational corporations.

We are launching our website on Friday 18th May to help raise very real concerns about genetic modification. We are not necessarily anti-GM, but we think a lot more questions need to be asked.

PLEASE JOIN US  in publicly expressing concern about GM technology and its impacts. Visit our website and add your name to the list of “Citizens Concerned About GM”.