Picking up Woolas’ GM gauntlet

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Last week’s Feeding the World Conference presented a strong set of evidence showing that sustainable, ecological approaches to agriculture hold a more promising prospect than GM.

Despite consistent scientific evidence to show that GM crops pose risks to the environment, farmers, sustainable agriculture and health, the former Defra minister for GM, Phil Woolas ‘threw down the gauntlet’ and challenged anyone opposed to GM crops to provide the evidence in one year!

“We have made a good start in picking up the Woolas Challenge, set down by the previous GM Minister at Defra, Phil Woolas, who last month told anti-GM campaigners that the UK Government considers they have just twelve months to put up or shut up about their safety, environment, food supply and social concerns,” says Lawrence Woodward, director of the Organic Research Centre – Elm Farm, one of the event organisers.

Expert after expert provided evidence that GM is not fit for purpose. By no means was every speaker against GM technology (two of whom actually use gene manipulation in their work) however, many factors count against GM crops as the ‘solution’ it is promised to be. Safe introduction of GM crops is not possible due to natural factors such as gene flow, and health effects already discovered. Futhermore, the social and economic impact of GM as part of industrialised farming – and patented food plants – is unacceptable. 

At the end of the event, Peter and Juliet Kindersley were thanked in particular for the financial support their Trust provided for the conference. Read more about it…

Vandana Shiva is yet another opponent of GM crops. She is a former particle physicist turned environmental campaigner. Follow the link to see a video clip of her talking on common misconceptions about genetic engineering.
http://www.takepart.com/2008/11/12/feeding-the-world-conference/

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