REMINDER & UPDATE: END GM CROPS IN SCOTLAND! UPDATE: last chance to lobby Ross Finnie + new target list **** please note new deadline! ****

AIM: 20,000 emails or letters to Ross Finnie by WEDNESDAY, 10th APRIL

... so if you haven't already done so, please act NOW! Please circulate widely by email and/or print this out and pass it on to folk not on email.

The Munlochy Vigil petition has recently passed through the Transport and Environment Committee of The Scottish Parliament. The petition calls for an immediate end to GM crop trials in Scotland, and a full debate, with a free vote (reflecting cross-party political support) on the future or not of GM in Scotland.

The T + E Committee showed due concern and passed it, as a matter of urgency to the Minister responsible, Ross Finnie, who must report back to the Committee by 11th April.

Therefore we are urging you to E-mail/write to Mr. Finnie before April 10th.

We need Mr. Finnie to realise how large public opposition is to GM crops, so numbers are important!

The T+ E Committee will consider Ross Finnie's response when they meet again on 17th April, so it is worth lobbying them again as well.

The points to stress are new evidence of environmental risk:

* especially the EEA report which states that GM oilseed rape is a high risk crop for crop-to-crop and crop-to-wild relative cross-contamination, which "increases the likelihood of extinction of wild relatives" (thus reducing biodiversity), as well as threatening the livelihoods of conventional and organic farmers.

* The English Nature report which states the inevitability of the rise of multiple herbicide resistant "superweeds", necessitating the increased use of damaging herbicides such as paraquat and 2,4D (derived from agent orange)

* Sunday Times (Feb 17th 2002): which states that leaked preliminary results from the trials, show that GM oilseed rape is "damaging the environment".

* FEMS report from Canada which shows that the soil around the roots of GM oilseed rape is altered.

* The Herald (March 2nd 2002): Charles Saunders, Chair of the BMA's public health committee, warned that the Scottish Executive was taking a gamble with public health by carrying out the trials.

* Also stress the issues of democracy and environmental justice, health risks, economic problems for conventional and organic farmers, and the lack of a market for GM produce (an EU survey shows that 79% of consumers will not eat GM) resulting in supermarkets removing food containing GMOs from their shelves.

It will also be worthwhile to lobby Jack McConnell (First Minister) and Charles Kennedy (party leader), urging them to make representations to Finnie over the Easter recess on the above issues.

Mr Finnie has said he will pull the trials if he has evidence of a threat or risk to the environment. He now has this evidence. He has been forced to look at this - let's try to get him to keep to his word and show him the level of opposition to GM.


Transport & Environment Committee:

or write to them at: Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Charles Kennedy: or write to him at: House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA

For any more information contact: Anthony Jackson (Munlochy Vigil) on 07720 817 847.