Stop the open-air release of GM Wheat that contains genes ‘most similar to that of a cow’
Rothamsted have planted a new GM wheat trial designed to repel aphids. It contains genes for antibiotic-resistance and an artificial gene ‘most similar to a cow’.
Wheat is wind-pollinated. In Canada 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 biotech gives to corporations.
‘Take the Flour Back’ will be a nice day out in the country, with picnics, music from Seize the Day and a decontamination. It’s for anyone who feels able to publically help remove this threat and those who want to show their support for them.
Meet Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, Herts (30 mins from London by train) 12 noon on 27th May.
Why a decontamination?
This open air trial poses a real, serious and imminent contamination threat to the local environment and the UK wheat industry. We’re calling on the Government and Rothamsted to remove the GM plants themselves, but if they fail to do so then May 27th is the last weekend action can safely be taken before pollination.
We’d rather not have to clean it up, but there simply aren’t any other avenues open to us. Despite expert representations urging caution the government has never refused any request for GM trials in the UK. Given that the current head of the responsible department (DEFRA) is a former biotech industry lobbyist this is hardly surprising.
The coalition have no mandate for forcing GM into our countryside, they’re acting against the express outcome of the democratic process by doing so. The government conducted the largest public consultation in recent history on Genetically Modified crops in 2003 (GM Nation) which found that the majority of the British public were “cautious, suspicious or outright hostile” towards GM crops.
Anyone who feels compelled to take this step with us will be in good company. Across the channel farmers, families, and local mayors have taken part in similar daytime decontaminations, and as a result France is currently in the process of banning its only commercially grown GM variety. In Belgium last year a mass public decontamination removed the GM potato trial in question, and is likely to have been instrumental in biotech giant BASF deciding to pull out of Europe.
This crop is a threat to our thriving wheat industry and our food security. This action is for anyone who feels able to help take it out, and all those who wish to support them.
Statements of support:
African Biodiversity Network and Gaia Foundation statement
Community Food Growers’ Network statement
Karnataka Farmers’ Association statement
Real Bread Campaign statement