Dr Robert Watson, Defra Chief Scientist, Farmers Guardian (30 Jan 2009, p.14) "We don't need GM to solve the hunger problem of today...David King [previous Government Chief Scientist who claimed hunger in Africa was because they had not embraced GM crops] was absolutely wrong. Farmers in Africa can't afford the better seeds, they have no access to fertilisers and sprays and they have severe constraints over irrigation - you don't need GM to solve that." via

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"Unlike ordinary drugs or pesticides, which have to be tested for three-months in three mammalian species, then with one mammalian species for one year, and yet another for 2 years, current regulation does not require such tests for 'biopesticides' produced continuously in open fields; nor for the herbicides and herbicide residues accumulated by herbicide-tolerant GM crops. The two traits, biopesticides and herbicide tolerance now account for practically all GM crops grown in the world today."

Genetic Modification for Profit Links to articles we have found interesting about what seems to us to be the less ethical side of GM technology.
Soil Association Report - Seeds of Doubt(new window) : North American farmers' experiences of GE crops is the first comprehensive study into the economic and social impacts of Genetically Engineered crops in North America.

"We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us."
Delegates from 20 African Countries to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN meeting on Plant Genetic Resources. GM Watch


Human insulin is capable of being grown in GM yeast and there are, as the FAO's 2000 statement says, "examples where genetic engineering is helping to reduce the transmission of human and animal diseases through new vaccines" and we have said many times on this website, we do not want to throw the entire biotechnology/GM baby out with the bath water. Yet the FAO statement shows awareness too of the unwanted transfer of antibiotic resistance markers, unintended transfer of transgenes through cross-pollination, unknown effects on the soil - and a possibly disastrous loss of biodiversity. (See February posting)

GM ".. to maximise profits rather than to pull the world out of poverty and hunger"

Advances in every human sphere - commerce, agriculture, transportation, the military, science and technology, household life, health care, public utilities-were driven directly or indirectly by the changes in society's underlying energy systems.

Bamboozled by PR from the Agrobiotech lobby?

The Soil Association's page GM crops don't increase yields, do have negative health impacts

May 2014 ~ France 'definitively' bans GM maize

April 2014 ~ Canada: Bill C-18 would give patent rights over seeds to corporate agribusiness

October 2013 ~ Global marches against Monsanto

April 17th 2012 ~ Monsanto's Roundup is creating new weed resistance to glyphosate

February 20th 2012 ~ Human health and fertility - and Monsanto's Roundup

April 17th 2012 ~ Monsanto's Roundup is creating new weed resistance to glyphosate

February 12th 2012 ~ "Weeds will inevitably become resistant to 2, 4-D, creating an increasingly vicious cycle as bioengineers come up with crops that can survive applications of ever more toxic herbicides."

January 15th 2012 ~ GM "Both these pending legal cases could set important precedents for biopiracy in India and Europe."

September 28th 2011 ~ India is suing Monsanto for "Biopiracy"

May 8th 2011 ~ The Prince of Wales' concerns echo those of Dr Don Huber about the urgent need for healthy topsoil

May 8th 2011 ~ the GM industry will not allow independent research into safety

May 7th 2011 ~ "I believe we’ve reached the tipping point toward a potential disaster..." Dr Don Huber

May 2011 ~ unknown effects on the soil and a possibly disastrous loss of biodiversity

November 14/15 2009 ~ "That could not possibly be what is happening this time. Could it?"

October 21 2009 ~ "Science has a key role to play in reducing hunger and poverty, but the report's focus on GM crops ignores mounting evidence that this technology is failing..." Friends of the Earth's GM campaigner Kirtana Chandrasekaran on the publication of the Royal Society report

September 6 2009 ~ "Monsanto represents the worst kind of monopoly, combining market dominance with a long history of abusive business practices."

September 6 2009 ~ "We do not need genetically modified (GM) food to feed the poor in Africa today."

June 4 2009 ~ Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which genetically-modified products are authorised for sale in the UK. [277132]

May 23 2009 ~Austrian trial suggests GM maize affects fertility - An organic vegetable garden at Number 10?

May 8 2009 ~ GM crops fail massively

April 2009 ~ "I will live to see the end of Monsanto."

March 5 2009 ~ No adequate answer forthcoming on how the co-existence of genetically-modified and non-GM crops is to be managed

January 30 2009 ~ "We don't need GM to solve the hunger problem of today...David King [previous Government Chief Scientist who claimed hunger in Africa was because they had not embraced GM crops] was absolutely wrong.

December 19 2008 ~ Oilseed rape at a trial site in Somerset has been contaminated by GM seed,

December 6 2008 ~ EU Ministers agree to tighten GM controls

November 17 2008 ~ GM protests to be criminalised?

November 3 3008 ~ "official figures from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture do indeed confirm that ...more than 1,000 farmers kill themselves here each month."

November 1 2008 ~ And what of the effect of genetic modification on the soil?

October 8 2008 ~ London Conference November 12th 2008

October 5 2008 ~"The reason I keep sticking my 60-year-old head above an increasingly dangerous parapet is not because it is good for my health"

September 8 2008 ~ Devon farmer appeals to Farming Today to "give us some properly impartial investigative reports".

Sept 3 2008 ~ EU to approve Bayer GM soy imports next week

August 23 2008 ~ "More Milk. Fewer Cows. What's The Problem?"

August 13 2008 ~ Des Turner, Labour MP is calling Prince Charles a Luddite.

August 13 2008 ~ relying on multi-nationals to mass-produce GM food would drive millions of farmers off their land and lead to "absolute disaster" - says Prince Charles


August 13 ~ Was Prince Charles trying to turn back the clock?

Tuesday 15th July 2008 ~ "A shift from an industrialised agriculture system to one based on ecologically sound principles and free from petro-chemical inputs..."

July 10 2008 ~" using high market prices to scare consumers into thinking that their food will become too expensive unless they turn to GM technology.."

10 July ~ "There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the current food price increase. ."

July 2 2008 ~ A sustainable food system must be low energy, water conscious and actively involve as many people as possible.

June 20 2008 ~ "genetically modified food lobby smiling all the way to the seed bank"

June 20 2008 ~ "Europe is heavily dependent on imports as it does not have enough land to both farm animals and grow the feed they need."

May 22 ~ The threat of GM terminator seeds - back again

May 22 2008 ~ The relentless rise of the seed multinationals has already locked millions of farmers into buying commercialised seed

May 2 2008 ~ "Organic agriculture is the only option left in our looming energy crisis, when oil becomes too expensive and scarce for farming use..."

April 16 2008 ~ There is emphasis in the report on proven traditional agricultural methods from around the world as much as on the new technologies.

March 25 2008 ~ France's "decision was a victory for environmentalists and for farmers opposed to gene-modification technology"

March 10 2008 ~ The Independent on "prejudice" and "superstition" among food consumers

February 25 2008 ~ GM crops will save us?

February 20 2008 ~ Commission likely to give green light to 5 GM strains

January 3 2008 ~ GMOs "contribute negatively to poverty alleviation and food security"

January 3 2008 ~ "quality balanced information on agricultural biotechnology"

Monday October 29 2007 ~ A farmer's story: 'It's all about control of food production'

Monday October 29 2007 ~ "few signs that the boom in organic food is ending."

Monday October 29 2007 ~ The debate over the future of GMOs in Europe rages

June 2007 ~ "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias has announced that the cultivation of genetically modified crops will be prohibited on Venezuelan soil

June 2007 ~ "My topic was genetically modified (GM) food and my stance was distinctly supportive. (Don't start throwing the rotten tomatoes now!)...."


3rd May 2007 ~ GM Maize MON 863 is Toxic

March/April 2006 ~ 8th of April 2006: Joint International GM Opposition Day (JIGMOD)

March 22 2006 ~ This week's United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity ends on March 31.

March 22 2006 ~ The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

August 8 2005 ~ the Government is launching a charm offensive to stop the media reporting scare stories about GM crops.

27 July 2005 ~ Bayer plays down anti-GM claims

26 July 2005 ~ Government researchers have found a GM version of the common weed charlock growing in one of the fields used in the Government-sponsored farm-scale trials of GM crops.

5 June 2005 ~ Mandelson wants to fast-track GM

22 March 2005 ~ Yet another nail was hammered into the coffin of the GM food industry in Britain yesterday

23 January 2005 ~ ".... the minute you start fooling around with it in various ways, I think there is a danger."

January 3 2005 ~ The GM watchdog, the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, is to be scrapped.

December 7 2004 ~ An alarming letter suggesting that there is corruption in the European Food Safety Authority.

November 20 - 26 2004 ~ Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations

November 22 2004 ~ Industry has dropped its last attempts to get GM seeds approved for growing in Britain

October 2004 ~ The Five Year Freeze, a unique alliance of 120 UK organisations,

Sept 20 ~ Europe halts GM maize proposals

Sept 2 ~ Public opposition to genetically modified (GM) food has hardened

August 17 ~ José Bové and 500 of his supporters came to blows with a new group describing itself as "volunteer farmers and researchers in favour of GMO tests"

July 10 2004 ~ Vineyard owners call for ban on GM grapes

July 5 ~ To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list GM products which may be imported into the UK..

July 1 2004 ~ Firm shuts British project on GM crops

June 29 2004 ~ the sixth time in a row that the European Commission has failed to convince the member states to approve a genetically modified organism

June 22 ~ Greenpeace spokesman Ben Stewart claimed success in the protest last night.

May 24 ~ ordinary New Zealanders are having to call ERMA to account for a cavalier attitude to sound science

May 21 ~ The Supreme Court of Canada rules against Percy Schmeiser by 5-4- but waives the 200,000 dollar "damages" and court costs

May 19 ~ EU Commissioners grant a licence for the importation and use of a GM maize

May 18 ~".. biotechnology is much more than genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

May 18 ~ The FAO is at variance with the views of many leading aid agencies

May 15 ~ The European Commission says it will approve one variety of genetically modified corn for human consumption.

May 13 ~ US biotech giant Monsanto has abandoned plans to grow GM oil seed j rape (canola) in Australia

May 7 ~ The field-scale trials clearly demonstrated what a disaster these crops can be for wildlife

May 7 ~ Peter Ainsworth's Environmental Audit Committee criticises the "either wilful or careless misinterpretations. of the Government Response to its report.


April 24 2004 ~ Hansard for April 22

April 4 2004 ~ 'GM will never be grown in Britain'

April 4 ~ 'IoS' hastens end of GM crops in Britain


There is plenty of evidence that transgenic lines are unstable

March 31 ~ GM giant abandons bid to grow crops in Britain

March 26 2004 ~ Genetically Modified Organisms Bill collapses - Elliot Morley "did not bother to turn up"

March 23 ~ Why GM maize should not be grown in the UK

March 21 ~ Crucial vote on GM crop

March 18 ~ Welsh amazement at Scottish ambivalence

March 16 ~ Chardon LL maize: greater value - or triggering illness?

March 16 ~ If the public knew that Carwyn Jones had this option and that it was neither "illegal" nor "irresponsible", then he would be under considerable pressure to choose that option.

March 14 - 20 ~ Scotland and Wales 'bullied' over GM crop veto

March 13 ~ "GM crops: The public spoke but, hey, why should ministers listen?"

March 9 ~ Starved of the truth

March 8 ~ We have been sent the whole Environment Audit Committee report on the GM trials

March 7 2004 ~ The Nature paper and the Environment Audit report

March 7 ~"... The influential Environmental Audit Select Committee's report suggests that, for the first time since the GM debate started, Parliament has smelt the GM rat

March 7 ~"... The reports says that "contamination ... is endemic to the system"

March 7 ~ Executive tells farmers: don't grow modified crops

March 6 ~ Delay GM crops, say groups speaking for 8m members

March 5 ~ Peter Ainsworth, the (Environmental Audit) committee chairman ...said leaked minutes from a cabinet panel suggest "a decision to open the door to the commercial growing of genetically modified crops is imminent."

March 4 ~ Scientists back GM crop findings

March 2 ~ Until the middle of April, GM foods imported into the UK for human and animal feeds will not have been labelled.

March 1 ~" Leaked minutes from the UK government show that it is planning to enforce different levels of GM contamination for different organic food if GM crops are grown commercially

Feb 29 ~ GM crops roll-out is blighted as MPs prepare to challenge No 10

Feb 27 ~ "Friends of the Earth renewed its call for tough GM liability legislation in the UK

Feb 26 ~ GM crops delayed by at least a year after cabinet leak

Feb 26 ~ GM industry to be liable for damages claims

Feb 25 ~ First evidence'of GM health-risk

Feb 25 ~ Dismay over GM licence

Feb 24 ~ UK 'not yet set for GM go-ahead'

Feb 24 ~ Scientists warn of danger of GMO contamination

Feb 24 ~ Legal challenge to GM go-ahead

Feb 22 ~ "... how to spin the announcement of a decision to approve GM maize with "careful presentation" so that public opposition can be "worn down"...."

See two articles today on the GM question GM seeds may have built-in obsolescence by Geoffrey Lean in the Independent on Sunday and The Not-So-Funny Farm by Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald. "Labour is going to give us GM crops whether we want them or not . what does that say about British democracy?"

Feb 22 2004 ~The GM maize trials were doubly flawed

Feb 21 ~ "..a complete reversal of Meacher's view that there is no scientific case for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) which should therefore remain banned.

Feb 20 ~" It is disingenuous to argue that GM technology is being promoted to support developing countries.

Feb 20 ~ Critics of GM crops furious at ministers' approval

20 February 2004 ~ GM-free' rebellion grows as ministers give crops backing

Cows Ate GM Maize & Died

Feb 9 2004 ~ Wales blocks go-ahead for Britain's first GM crop

Feb 6 ~ Ministers were warned of .widespread unease. over .incremental. steps being taken towards introduction of GM crops.

Feb 3 ~ EU on line to prohibit GM oilseed rape crops

Jan 29 ~ UK pressed to take GM crops

Jan 28 ~ Science 'does not know all GM crop facts yet'

Jan 27 ~ EU REPORT on coexistence between genetically modified crops and conventional and organic crops

Jan 23 ~ " But who needs to validate anything when you have the Royal Society on your side?"

Jan 23 ~ "The exhaustive work of my panel will enable research and policy debates on GM to be informed by the most up-to-date and sound scientific evidence. .." David King

Jan 23 ~ "considering our policy.."

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will decide their GM food policy. [148906]
Mr. Morley: We are considering our policy on GM food and crops generally in the light of all the information we have gathered. That includes the reports of the public debate and the science review, the Strategy Unit's costs and benefits study, the AEBC's report on coexistence and liability, and now ACRE'S advice on the FSE results. We will set out our conclusions in due course. "

GM corn to be approved for one year only

Jan 16 ~ Ministers to approve commercial growth of GM crops next month

Jan 15 2004 ~ partial, hasty science

Jan 14 2004 ~ Britain braced for GM crops in spring

Jan 9 ~ "....For bare-faced cheek, the prize goes to the pro-GM members of the Government's Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission

Jan 6 2004 ~ Winning the GM debate

Jan 1 ~" the first salvo in a David and Goliath struggle"

Dec 28 ~ 'We are not saying GM technology will save the world on its own,'

Dec 3 ~ GM crops: EU moratorium faces vote next Monday

Nov 28 ~ GM industry is annoyed by new EU rules

Nov 27 ~ "With expanding slums of unemployed and starving people already encircling many cities in the developing world,

Nov 27 2003 ~" Ministers will be left with a tough choice over whether to back organic farmers or the biotechnology industry

Nov 26 ~ Bayer CropScience; BASF; Dow Agrosciences; Dupont; Monsanto; and Syngenta conclude " GM Crops can and should Co-Exist in the UK"

Nov 25 ~ Results of GM farm trials have been misrepresented, says Lord May

Nov 22 ~ "... Last month the EU commissioner for the environment, Margot Wallström, told journalists in London that the US biotech companies had tried to lie to Europe

Nov 20 ~ The Government's public debate on genetically modified (GM) crops was severely hamstrung by the "absurdly tight deadline" and "insufficient resources"

Nov 15 ~ GM wheat a bad idea: U.S. study

Nov 15 ~ Improving water supplies in struggling African countries is a more urgent need than building up GM crop technologies

Nov 14 ~ Vatican accused of skewing conference on food production

Nov 14 ~ A secret briefing to the Canadian government has warned that the country's massive food exports are at risk from its continued use of GM crops.

Nov 13 ~ International activist warns about food security

Nov 11 ~ The Vatican opened a symposium yesterday into genetically modified organisms (GMO), which critics claim is a smokescreen for eventual endorsement of the crops.

Nov 10 ~ UK to fight European embargo on GM corn

Nov 10 ~ UPPER Austria has announced it will appeal against a decision not to allow the region to declare itself a GM free zone

Oct 26 ~ Blair will ignore public opposition to GM technology

Oct 25 ~ "the proposed thresholds for seed lots will lead to contamination of the whole of the food and feed supply chain and will considerably reduce the freedom of choice available to consumers"

Oct 25 ~"... the Co-op, as the biggest farmer in Britain, is sending a clear message to its suppliers - don't grow GM.

Oct 23 ~ Calling on the Government to make time for a Parliamentary debate on GM, David Lidington MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural said:

Oct 21 ~ Co-op bans GM from shops, farms and bank

Oct 19 ~ The plans would in effect bring in GM agriculture by the back door, and seriously compromise organic farming across Europe.

Oct 19 ~ Michael Meacher: Science backs consumers' rejection of GM food - are you listening Tony?

Oct 17 2003 ~ GM decision kicked into long grass for the time being

Oct 16 ~ GM tests show danger to wildlife

Oct 16 ~ "Although the results remain a closely guarded secret, many observers are expecting a largely mixed verdict on Thursday

Oct 16 ~ Monsanto, the huge American biotechnology company which has pioneered GM crops, is withdrawing from many of its European operations and laying off up to two thirds of its British workers.

Oct 15 ~ Michael Meacher says, "This is the freedom movement in our country now.

Oct 14 ~ Curb on GM crop trials after insect pollution

Oct 14 2003 ~ US firms 'tried to lie' over GM crops, says EU

Oct 13 ~ Scientists show GM DNA not degraded in gastointestinal tract as expected

Oct 12 ~ "The science minister Lord Sainsbury could make millions of pounds from his investments in firms researching genetically modified (GM) crops

Oct 12 ~ Flaw in crop trials destroys government case for GM

Oct 12 ~ How GM crop trials were rigged ".. the GM trials, whose results will be reported on Thursday, were always more political than scientific"

Oct 10 ~ GM hybrids seen as 'inevitable'

Oct 8 ~ Insurers in New Zealand and Australia will not cover GM

Oct 8 ~ "When insurers quantify GM crops in the same category as thalidomide, asbestos and terrorism, no thinking farmer should risk their business and public reputation by taking on this unproven, unwanted and unnecessary technology."

Oct 7 ~ "The field trial results have been manipulated. They are utterly worthless."

Oct 7 ~ ".. nothing threatens science more than the government departments that distort the research agenda

Oct 5 ~ 'Humanising' pigs, if anything, will increase the risks of viral infections

Oct 5 ~ Government prepares to back down over GM crops

Oct 5 ~ Reminder of (Ananova 23rd July 2003 ) GM crops gene leakage 'could wipe out wild relatives'

"bees were found carrying GM pollen at a hive 4 km from a GM oilseed rape test site"

Sept 30 ~ Michael Meacher has called for a referendum on whether genetically modified crops should be grown in the UK.

Sept 28 ~ Bayer, has decided to halt UK trials of genetically modified plants.

Sept 28 ~GM crops could be new 'green' fuel

Sept 25 ~ we want to summarize, for the benefit of the public, the major areas of disagreement between scientists like ourselves and those who advise our government.

Sept 25 ~ "Evidence from Canada and the US suggests that cross-contamination is indeed a risk.

Sept 24 ~ Public says "No" to GM crops

Sept 23 ~"There is growing interest from the scientific community over possible negative health and environmental effects of genetically engineered crops."

Sept 23 ~ Blair backs move to remove councils' right to veto GM crops

Sept 22 ~ In an attempt to ensure this is not the last GM-free harvest

Sept 22 ~ Beckett letter on GM crops sparks anger in Scotland

Sept 21 ~ Royal Society rejects 'anti-GM' report

Sept 21 ~ Government 'to back GM crops'

Farm-scale evaluations results presentation arrangements

Sept 20 ~Argentina's GM Woes

Sept 19 2003~ A culture of bullying and intimidation...

Sept 18 ~ GM Crops Irrelevant for Africa

Sept 18 ~ Transgenic Trees Spread Mercury Poisoning

This article can be found in full on the I-SIS website at

Sept 14 2003~ The European Union has delivered two body blows to the efforts by the American-based trans-national biotech companies to sell their unwanted genetically modified food in Europe.

Sept 11 ~".. the potential for transmissible GMOs to spread to other countries is just one of the safety issues.

Sept 11 ~ Conrad Lichtenstein, professor of molecular biology, Queen Mary College, London University, ... he is actually a member of CropGen, a group funded by Monsanto and other biotech corporations.

Sept 2003 ~ Leading Indian scientist launches attack on corruption between multinationals and bureaucrats

Sept 2003 ~ Canadian TV news has reported on GM oil seed rape (OSR) which has become a weed in Canada

Sept 2003 ~ Schmeiser prepares for final battle against Monsanto

Aug 27 ~ ISIS rejects GM Science Review Report

Aug 25 ~"The whole biotech enterprise, from GM crops and gene drugs to human cloning, is a phenomenal waste of public finance and scientific imagination."

Aug 24 ~ Blair forced to scale back his plan to introduce GM farming

Aug 19 ~ US escalates GM food row with Europe


"...Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, a professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, is quoted in the article as saying that it is "easy to say no to GM food if your stomach is full."

Aug 4 ~ Food Producers in China announce their decision to go GM-Free

Aug 2 ~ GM crops do harm surrounding flora and fauna, farm trials likely to reveal

Aug 1 2003 ~ co-existence between the GM sector and the organic or conventional sector? What Canada shows... is that it is absolutely impossible.

Aug 1 ~ 'protein-rich potato' hoax

July 29 ~ On 9th July Sheepdrove arranged a meeting with three Canadian Farmers and Michael Hart of The Small and Family Farmers Alliance.

July 26 ~ The GM plot: Scientist tried to sabotage work of top academic who is a sceptic

July 22 ~ Sceptics unconvinced as agribusiness welcomes opportunity to move forward

July 21 ~ Today's report

July 21 ~ "Africa needs GM like a hole in the head.

July 21 ~ BBC Science Correspondent, Pallab Ghosh reports on the findings of the GM Science Review which will be announced later today.

July 19/20 ~ "Confidence was badly shaken last week by the Cabinet Office strategy unit's forecast of civil unrest

July 19/20 ~ "Mrs Beckett promised to "listen" to the conclusions - but not necessarily to take any account of them. ..."

July 19/20 ~ Plaid Cymru will be launching a national petition to Keep Wales GM-Free at the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd next week.

July 18 ~The government's eight-week national dialogue on genetically modified organisms draws to a close today amid widespread criticism of the way it was organised.

July 18 ~"It is an open secret in Westminster that the Prime Minister and his colleagues in DEFRA have already made up their minds before the public debate even began - I doubt this report will deter them."

July 18 ~ " the biotech empire is now desperately grasping for support from the taxpayer by hyping genetics and bio-defence. "

July 17 ~ How Monsanto's policies have become US policy

July 17 ~ "Monsanto is suing Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy for labeling their milk "Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones."

July 14 ~ "the stranglehold that the big companies will have on the third world growers, should GM take off, is immoral, and will cause poverty, hardship, and the break up of rural communities..."

July 13/14 ~ "Dozens of the Government's most influential advisers on critical health and environmental issues have close links to biotech and drug corporations"

July 12/13 ~ GM foods: unloved, unwanted and a rush to grow crops could cause civil unrest

July 9 ~ The article in yesterday's Mail claims that the sacking of Dr Pusztai was the result of "manoeuvring at the highest political level" and questions the network of relationships between senior Labour figures and the biotech industry.

July 8 ~ Schmeiser received hundreds of phone calls from farmers who have been contacted by Monsanto representatives and received demand letters saying that they have unauthorised GM crops growing in their fields and must pay so many thousands of dollars to avoid lawsuit.

July 6 ~ UN food body calls for strict new rules on GM crops

July 1 ~ Lord Robert May accuses Michael Meacher of "half-truths"

July 1 ~ Zac Goldsmith "Mr Blair takes counsel from his Science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is Labour's biggest donor and a man with financial interests in GM; from a Food Standards Agency that spends more time attacking organic food than examining GM; and from a Royal Society awash with vested interest.......

July 12003 ~ " instead of this finding being regarded as a serious discovery which should be checked and re-che ked, the spin was that this was nothing new and did not involve any health risk"

June 29 ~ GM threatens a superweed catastrophe

June 27 ~ Two letters in the Telegraph "Curious Consultation" "Making the rich wealthy and the poor destitute"


June 23 ~ Police seize Bové in airborne raid for destroying GM crops

June 23 ~   'Superweeds' signal setback for GM crops

Government accused of prejudging GM debate

The Journal

June 22 ~ Blair buried health warning on GM crops, says sacked minister

June 21 ~ Last-ditch talks to avert an escalation of the trade dispute between the US and the EU over genetically modified crops have failed, US officials said on Thursday.

June 21 ~ American taxpayers were effectively sponsoring "some of the richest companies on earth in a trade fair".

June 21 ~"The balance of forces in the GM battle is not defined yet"

US takes battle over GM crops to Brazil (Financial Times - external link) "...the US government and the American biotech industry are focusing on Brazil, one of the world's leading agricultural producers. Washington this week is helping pay for a group of 20 Brazilian politicians, scientists and environmentalists to study the use of GM crops in the US and South Africa. The study trip includes dinner with executives of Monsanto......
.....Backed by public opinion surveys showing most Brazilians sceptical of GM crops, Greenpeace and the Consumer Defence Institute (Idec) obtained two court rulings that annulled the authorisation Monsanto obtained from CTNBio, the biotechnology regulator, in 1998, to plant and sell its GM Roundup Ready soybean. The rulings also ordered Monsanto to conduct an environmental impact study.
In an unusual move, two out of three judges on a court of appeal in February last year went into recess after the third judge voted in favour of Monsanto. They have not returned since, some believe under political pressure.
With Greenpeace and Idec pledging to fight Monsanto all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, a judicial solution seems unlikely in the short term..."

June 21 ~ he shouldn't want to be remembered for leaving behind him an unnaturally green and unpleasant land.

June 21 ~ "It is not poverty in Africa that is the most important issue for the administration but business considerations on behalf of the U.S. technology and agricultural sector,. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's global trade watch

June 20 ~"...ask Dr Suman Sahai about resolving famine through genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and she's dismissive."

June 19 ~ Seeds more risky than pollen for GM escape


Jun 15 ~ The Case for A GM-Free Sustainable World

Jun 12 ~ Fischler announced that growing GM crops would soon be legal throughout the EU. There was no opportunity for questioning or debate.

June 10/11 ~ The extensive contamination of certified canola seed with transgenes for herbicide tolerance is staggering.

June 10 ~The principal issue, perpetually and deliberately ignored by government, many scientists, most of the media and, needless to say, the questionnaire being used to test public opinion, is the corporate takeover of the food chain.

June 8 ~ "....It is utterly, inescapably obvious that we don't need GM in the UK and in Europe..."

June 8 ~ 'Knives out' for Meacher in row over GM crops

June 6 ~ Percy Schmeiser, who found his fields heavily contaminated by Monsanto's GM canola volunteers

Food Standards Agency Hides Unanimous Findings Of Citizens' Jury That GM Crops Should Not Be Grown In The UK Now - GeneWatch UK Challenges The FSA To Come Clean GeneWatch UK has written to Dr John Bell, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (1), asking why it has failed to reveal the unanimous finding of its Citizens Jury that (2):
"More time is needed to understand the long-term environmental implications of GM crops before farmers start to grow them in the UK
growing GM crops in the UK would be irreversible and might eventually reduce choice". This part of the Jury's verdict, only revealed in a report circulated to witnesses yesterday, was excluded from the FSA's Press Release on 7th April announcing the results and headlined "FSA Citizens' Jury says GM food should be available to buy in the UK". Dr John Bell, in a debate with Dr Sue Mayer, GeneWatch's Director, on the BBC programme 'You and Yours' on 8th April also failed to refer to this finding (4).
"I have written to Dr John Bell to ask why the FSA was so selective in its representation of the verdict of its Citizens' Jury. The imminent decision on the commercial growing of GM crops in the country is of great importance and the views of the public should be represented fully," said Dr Mayer. "The FSA seems to be more interested in spin than full presentation of the facts".
"I gave evidence to the Citizens' Jury in good faith and am disturbed that the findings are being distorted. This selective presentation of the verdict undermines all the hard work and effort the Jury put into its deliberations. The Jury was unanimous that GM crops should not be grown in the UK at present and split on whether GM foods should be available to buy in the shops. Why did the FSA headline only the majority and not all the unanimous findings?" said Dr Mayer. - ends -

June 5 ~ When someone asked if anyone in Govt. would listen, the facilitator replied "Margaret Beckett said she will respond and I'm taking her at her word".

"Farm Scale Evaluations (FSEs) of GM crops in the UK have been called fraudulent..

June 2 ~ GM - the arguments

Some of the main arguments for and against GM

June 2 ~ "GM critics are convinced that Mr Blair and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, are anxious to appease the US biotechnology industry

which wishes to establish the commercial planting of GM crops throughout the EU. The US claims it loses £188 million a year due to the EU ban on the technology." The Times Ministers briefed to back off GM crops by Valerie Elliot

June 2 ~ One chance to voice a protest, but will ministers listen?

Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor of the Independent Extract: "Britons will get their first and perhaps only chance to tell the Government what they think of genetically modified crops and food from tomorrow with the start of the national GM debate. .... in conferences, meetings and discussions across Britain - if enough people take part.
The debate has been unadvertised, only modestly funded and, some critics allege, organised with great reluctance by the Government. For an issue of this magnitude, its public profile is extremely low. ..... one of the main political problems with the GM issue, the "democratic deficit". .... The debate will be launched tomorrow by Professor Malcolm Grant.... a planning expert who is a former professor of land economy at Cambridge University,... has promised that he will take account of public opinion in his report to the Government. It is far from clear, however, that the Government will take it into account when making its decision. Asked if she would do so, Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who is believed to be a strong supporter of GM food, merely says that she will "respond publicly" to Professor Grant's report.

June 1 ~ "The Bush case is either fuelled by Machiavellian concerns or deep humanitarian motives, depending on how you interpret the man who leads the world's most powerful nation...."

(From the Sunday Herald) ".....Professor Jean Ziegler, the United Nations' special rapporteur on the right to food, recently said: 'I am against the theory of the multinational corporations who say if you are against hunger you must be for genetically modified organisms.'
Ziegler, professor of sociology at the Sorbonne and Geneva University and the man who famously exposed how Swiss bankers grew rich on Nazi gold looted from Jews, added: 'There is plenty of natural, normal, good food in the world to nourish the whole of humanity.'
However, the GM food-African starvation issue is becoming one of the great moral dilemmas of the early 21st century. US President George Bush, prior to his current visit to Europe for the G8 summit, accused European nations of impeding US efforts to reduce hunger in Africa by opposing the use of GM crops. 'Our partners in Europe have blocked all new bio-crops because of unfounded, unscientific fears,' Bush said. 'This has caused many African nations to avoid investing in bio-technologies for fear that their products will be shut out of European markets.'
The Bush case is either fuelled by Machiavellian concerns or deep humanitarian motives, depending on how you interpret the man who leads the world's most powerful nation....."

June 1 ~ Ministers try to stop labels for GM food

"MINISTERS want to kill off plans by Brussels to bring in a comprehensive regime for labelling genetically modified food. They fear "negative fall-out" from Washington if they back the consumer friendly policy, leaked cabinet papers reveal. The documents, including a memo from Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, show that ministers are desperate not to antagonise America, the world's largest producer of GM crops....."(Sunday Times)

May 28 2003 ~ Egypt Withdraws from WTO GM Complaint - FOE press release

Attempts by the United States Administration to force Europe to accept GM food and crops received a serious blow after Egypt announced that it would not be part of a WTO challenge to the European Union's de facto moratorium on approving new GM licenses. The Egyptian Government says that it has taken its decision because it recognises "the need to preserve adequate and effective consumer and environmental protection."

May 27 ~ "eligibility to receive aid under the program may be affected by a country's acceptance of Genetically Modified Organisms"

"WASHINGTON - A major international environmental group is calling on Washington to stop using hunger in Africa as a marketing tool for genetically modified (GM) crops produced by U.S. agribusiness.
In a report released Friday, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) charged that the U.S. government, including the Congress, was increasingly making acceptance of GM crops by developing countries a condition of U.S. aid and food donations.
The report follows the announcement earlier this month that Washington is filing a formal complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the European Union (EU) in order to overturn a moratorium on GM food crops in Europe, and a major row that pitted the U.S. against the EU and several African countries over the shipment of GM maize as emergency food aid to Southern Africa to the help the region cope with a crippling drought..."
U.S. Exploiting Hunger to Promote GM Crops, Group Charges by Jim Lobe May 26 2003

May 27 ~ Scientists urge close scrutiny of GM crops' impact

By Robert Uhlig, Farming Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph

"We advised the Government almost five years ago that it needed to carry out a review of the way in which the environmental impact of GM crops is monitored in the long term, but it still hasn't taken the necessary action. If the decision is taken to allow commercial planting of GM crops, it is essential that regulators in the UK and EU monitor the environmental impact to pick up any potentially beneficial or harmful effects over a long period. It will not be enough to make best estimates at the start and then assume that everything will turn out as expected." Professor Patrick Bateson, vice-president and biological secretary of the Royal Society

May 22 2003 ~ EU Parliament votes for stricter GM labelling

From the Friends of the Earth website (external link)
" Brussels, 22 May.
The European Parliament Environment Committee today voted for stronger laws governing GM labeling and traceability. The vote, one week after the United States started a WTO complaint against the EU, paves the way for better consumer choice and action to protect organic and non-GM farmers from genetic contamination. The vote by the Environment Committee called for stricter rules on the labelling and traceability of GMOs and for legally binding rules to secure non- genetically modified (GM) agriculture and non-GM food in Europe. ..."

Ethical or moral reasons do not count

May 20 2003 Guardian "Meacher admits GM crops threaten organic output"

Mr Meacher is all too aware that "....Though consumers might be opposed to GM crops .. it was impossible under EU rules for Britain to stop them being grown commercially, unless it found health or environmental evidence they were harmful. Ethical or moral reasons did not count. "
"Mr Meacher said the government was awaiting a report from an advisory body, the agriculture and environment biotechnology commission, on how to make it possible to combine GM, organic and conventional farming. This included the issues of the distance between crops, to avoid cross contamination by pollen, and compensation for farmers whose crops might be made unsaleable as a result of their proximity to GM crops. .."

"..the move to set up an Independent Science Panel (ISP) was precipitated by the interview with (Michael) Meacher, published in the March issue of The Ecologist

in which Meacher suggested that GM technology is not necessary to solve world hunger and could prove dangerous over the longer term, something that the scientists have been saying for years.
The twenty-five strong ISP on GM was officially launched 10 May in King's College, London University, at a special public conference, GM Crops: Do We Need Them? Are they Safe? The launch coincided with the release of their much awaited draft report, The Case for a GM-Free Sustainable World , published on the ISIS website (, which calls for banning GM crops to make way for all forms of sustainable agriculture.

The mayor will oppose commercial or experimental release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment in London

London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has included the following statement in London's Biodiversity Strategy: "The mayor will oppose commercial or experimental release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment in London". The Greens in the Assembly are now lobbying determinedly for the Mayor to declare London a GM-free zone (2may20isp)

GM trade war

(From Friends of the Earth website)

The US Government has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the European Union's policy on genetically modified (or GM) food. It follows heavy lobbying by big US-based biotechnology multinationals like Monsanto. ..... the US will argue that the EU reluctance to take GM foods is a illegal barrier to free trade. And given the secretive WTO's pro-business bias - its likely to agree. Friends of the Earth believes that it's just the latest Bush government-led attempt to bulldoze over other countries' rights to protect their people and the environment. .....

Email your US Ambassador

GM crops may be given go-ahead

Press Association Monday May 19, 2003 8:48 AM

Licences for growing genetically-modified crops in Britain may be approved despite public opposition, the Government has indicated. Environment Minister Michael Meacher said that refusing a licence for the GM crops might not be an option under European Union legislation.
A public consultation exercise on GM crops is due to begin in a fortnight's time. Although trials have not come up with evidence that the crops are harmful, opinion polls suggest that fewer than 15% support GM.
"We have to act in accordance with the law," Mr Meacher told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme. "And the law at the present moment is set down in the EU directive, and the key and sole criteria for taking action in regard to GM crops is: are they a harm, a risk to health or the environment?"

The United States administration has announced that it is bringing a case in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the European Union over genetically modified food.

Friends of the Earth Press Release May 13

The US has been joined by Australia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Uruguay. The US will argue that the current EU moratorium on the commercial development of GM foods is an "illegal" trade barrier under WTO rules. But environment pressure group Friends of the Earth is warning the move is the latest in a series of attempts by the US to block other countries' decisions to protect their environment, human health and social standards. The move could bring the full force of WTO sanctions to bear in order to force GM food into European markets regardless of the wishes of European consumers. The US is likely to attempt to prevent any effective labelling of food derived from GM ingredients.

Genewatch has written to the FSA complaining about the way it presented the results of a citizen's jury into GM foods.

Farmers Weekly Interactive article"Genewatch said that the FSA had failed to report that the jury had unanimously agreed that GM crops should not be grown in the UK yet. The jury said that more time was needed to understand the long-term environmental implications of GM crops and growing them would be irreversible. Director Sue Mayer said this conclusion should have been highlighted by the FSA...." May 12 2003

Unravelling the DNA Myth

"the biotechnology industry is not required to provide even the most basic information about the actual composition of the transgenic plants to the regulatory agencies. No tests, for example, are required to show that the plant actually produces a protein with the same amino acid sequence as the original bacterial protein. Yet this information is the only way to confirm that the transferred gene does in fact yield the theory-predicted product. Moreover, there are no required studies based on detailed analysis of the molecular structure and biochemical activity of the alien gene and its protein product in the transgenic commercial crop. Given that some unexpected effects may develop very slowly, crop plants should be monitored in successive generations as well. None of these essential tests are being performed, and billions of transgenic plants are now being grown with only the most rudimentary knowledge about the resulting changes in their composition. Without detailed, ongoing analyses of the transgenic crops, there is no way of knowing if hazardous consequences might arise. Given the failure of the central dogma, there is no assurance that they will not. The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a massive uncontrolled experiment whose outcome is inherently unpredictable. The results could be catastrophic....."

The National Trust is to ban its 2,000 tenant farmers from growing genetically modified (GM) crops on its land.

The decision will be a serious blow to the GM lobby. With 3m members representing much of middle England, the trust's move will worry ministers who must soon decide whether to allow the planting of commercial GM crops.

Times May 11 2003

May 10/11 ~ ....a monopoly on the word "organic" itself, making it illegal for independent producers to adopt higher standards and create their own labels.

DEFRA briefing to MEPs claims thresholds below one per cent are unenforceable.

(May 9 2003) But the Government's own Central Science Laboratory has confirmed that a limit of detection of 0.1 per cent is verifiable...
The Government is asking UK Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote in favour of the GM contamination of our food and against the widespread labelling of food containing traces of GM materials, Friends of the Earth revealed today. The advice comes ahead of the Government's 'public debate' on GM foods.

Independent Science Panel for a GM Free Sustainable World

"In a surprising move, dozens of prominent scientists have joined forces to form an Independent Science Panel (ISP) on GM, to counteract what they see to be a concerted campaign by the government and the scientific establishment in the UK to promote GM under the guise of 'sound' science...." See Press Release from

Scientist who pressed GM panic button raises new food health fears

Sunday Times May 4th 2003

Pusztai brings together all the scientific studies carried out into the safety of GM foods and subjects them to rigorous statistical and scientific scrutiny.
This weekend he said: "We found that there are only a few such studies and they show many problems. In particular, they illustrate that GM foods have never been publicly tested for their safety and wholesomeness. There is increasing research to show they may actually be very unsafe."

According to the latest MORI poll, 64 per cent of people living in Devon and Cornwall voted against GM, while only seven per cent were in favour.

Aura Sabadus in the Western Morning News 02/05/03

"...Sceptics feared that in the light of Whitehall reports Tony Blair and Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett may already have made up their minds in favour, preparing to force the issue through. But campaigners' faith in a balanced debate has been restored after unpublished data from MORI showed that the Government will have to struggle to convince the public to back the commercialisation of GM. Robert Vint, Totnes-based director of Genetic Food Alert, said the Government had to accept the public's determination to reject the introduction of the crops.
He said: "It's already clear that the majority of people don't want to see GM crops grown in this country. The figures nationwide, and particularly the percentage in the Westcountry, showing an overwhelming opposition to the technology highlights the fact that Whitehall was wrong when claiming that public resistance to GM was declining..."

Far from being an answer to world hunger, genetic engineering could be a major contributor to starvation.

"Engineering Hunger" The Ecologist

"...There are currently more than a dozen patents on genetically engineered 'terminator' technology. These seeds are engineered by biotech companies to produce a sterile seed after a single growing season. This ensures that farmers cannot save their seed and that they will have to buy from corporations every season instead. Does anyone believe that the solution to world hunger is to make the crops of the world sterile? With more than half of the world's farmers relying on saved seeds for their harvest, imagine the mass starvation that would result should the sterility genes escape from the engineered crops and contaminate non--genetically engineered local crops, unintentionally sterilising them. According to a study by Martha Crouch of Indiana University, such a chilling scenario is a very real possibility. ..."

from Fatal Harvest: the tragedy of industrial agriculture, edited by Andrew Kimbrell, distributed by Island Press,

Blair faces huge resistance to his support for GM crops

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor of the Independent (28 April 2003)

"....Margaret Beckett and Tony Blair are both known supporters of GM technology and some reports from Whitehall have suggested that they have made up their minds in favour, and are prepared to force through the issue. But unpublished data from the pollsters Mori shows that they will struggle to convince the public they are right. Although the GM issue has faded from the headlines compared with three or four years ago, opponents continue to outnumber supporters solidly, by four to one, with 56 per cent of the population against, and only 14 per cent in favour.


An article by Susan George on genetically modified organisms comes from Le Monde diplomatique

"the ultimate aim of effectively controlling farming around the world...In the US, five firms led by Monsanto control almost 90% of GM seed, together with associated pesticides and herbicides. And they will stop at nothing to silence their opponents. ...

The fake persuaders

"...On November 29 last year, two researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper in Nature magazine, which claimed that native maize in Mexico had been contaminated, across vast distances, by GM pollen. The paper was a disaster for the biotech companies seeking to persuade Mexico, Brazil and the European Union to lift their embargos on GM crops.
Even before publication, the researchers knew their work was hazardous. One of them, Ignacio Chapela, was approached by the director of a Mexican corporation, who first offered him a glittering research post if he withheld his paper, then told him that he knew where to find his children..."

George Monbiot Tuesday May 14, 2002 The Guardian

Terrorism As Cannibalism

Vandana Shiva

"The violator becomes the violated, the violated becomes the violator in the perverse world of patents on genes, seeds and living material. Such perverse laws are transforming agriculture into police states and farmers into criminals. They are the invisible cages which are holding humans captive to market processes and corporate rule. The Privatisation of water is another threat to human freedom....."

"Welcome to the Spin Machine"

Michael Manville

"...Biotech is the planet's best hope for supplying food to a growing population. Genetic engineering can let us make plants that will grow in deserts, that will have vaccines built into them, that will be fortified with extra vitamins. While we waste time debating labeling, the poor starve, and if you oppose genetically-modified food, then you oppose feeding the world, too. So good luck sleeping at night.
Good luck indeed. Before plunging into a sea of guilt, we should first figure out just who is sending us these fine missives. BSMG is, as my first return email noted, one of the world's larger public relations firms. Its regular clients include Monsanto, Dow, Baxter Bayer, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (an ardently pro-biotech group) and the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America. In addition, in March of 2000, Monsanto, Dow, Aventis, Novartis, DuPont and BASF entered a multiyear contract with BSMG, for the purpose of taking American doubts about biotech and nipping them in the bud. The contract was originally signed for $50 million, but the companies expressed a willingness to spend up to $250 million to get their message out..."

The knowledge of the poor is being converted into the property of global corporations, creating a situation where the poor will have to pay for the seeds and medicines they have evolved and have used to meet their own needs for nutrition and health care. Such false claims to creation are now the global norm, with the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of World Trade Organisation forcing countries to introduce regimes that allow patenting of life forms and indigenous knowledge.
Vandana Shiva Reith Lecture 2000

"Monsanto sues farmers who use seeds derived from plants grown from its own patented GM seeds instead of buying fresh supplies each new planting season. Canadian and American farmers are being ruined when they fall foul of this patent trap. ActionAid, Greenpeace and other organisations have accused Washington of using GM food both as a Trojan horse for aggressive GM seed companies like Monsanto and DuPont and also as subsidies to US farmers whose surplus GM crops could not otherwise find a market. Monsanto, trigger hair-ready to leap to litigation, already controls a staggering 91% of the world's GM seed markets. " Sunday Herald
Friends of the Earth - Real Food Campaign
Greenpeace has created a guide to help people get involved in the debate. It highlights the crucial issues the public and government must consider before any decision on commercialising GM crops is made. Download the GM Public Debate Toolkit.
Biotech Family Trees -



Arpad Puztai