GM on Toast?
A new field-scale, open air trial of Genetically Modified wheat has just begun at an agricultural research centre in Hertfordshire. The wheat contains genes for antibiotic resistance and man-made genes (the closest comparison with anything natural are genes found in peppermint and those found in cows!) to repel aphids. It is a publicly funded trial. but if 'successful', the patent will probably be sold to a US biotechnology company.
The scientists are selling the wheat as 'environmentally friendly' because it is designed to repel pests with 'lower chemical use'. However there are major concerns with inserting man-made genes into a crop which is wind pollinated, with no guarantee about how this combination of artificial genes will affect other plants, or human health. In Canada and the US similar experiments have leaked into the food-chain costing farmers millions in lost exports. There is no market for GM wheat anywhere in the world.
La Via Campesina, the world’s largest organisation of peasant farmers, believe GM is increasing world hunger. They have called for support resisting GM crops, and the control over agriculture that biotechnology gives to corporations. The Real Bread Campaign, Ethical Consumer and GM Freeze are running a letter writing campaign and a pledge, see www.gmfreeze.org. There is also a mass day of action against the trial called Take The Flour Back on Sunday 27th May. It will be a nice day out in the country, with a picnic, music and a decontamination. It’s for anyone who feels able to publicly help remove this threat and those who want to show their support for them.
People from Manchester are meeting to discuss getting involved in the day of action on Wednesday 25th Arpil in Hulme. 7pm at the Yard Theatre, 41 Old Birley Street, M15 5RF
Take the Flour Back
Last Modified - 22nd May 2012