Market Gardener8th November 2023
Farmer – Joint Venutre Start date: Spring 2024 Application deadline 8th Dec 20238th November 2023
Choice for consumers is at risk – call for action to make our voices heard.
On Tuesday 7th November some 20 people representing the organic food and farming and non-gm food sectors came together under the umbrella of A Bigger Conversation/Beyond GM to discuss the massive risks to our food and to nature through insufficient legislation that will likely remove all safety and tracking of trials and patents for gm/ge/pbo material.
The new legislation on Gene Editing, Gene Modification and precision breeding in plants and animals is only a skeleton. Still, it is one with lots of gaps in it that will let the gene editing industries drive a hole through safety procedures and risk assessments that would otherwise allow tracking, labelling and accountability. The recording of patents of traits and trials is currently in place – these safeguards could be removed!
Surveys of consumers repeatedly show that 70% or more of general consumers want their ability to choose GM or not GM food to be maintained (and most of the others are not sure of the situation – only 6-7% are actually happy to let their choice disappear).
So are we happy to let this industry barge on with uncountable trials that are supposed to be carefully monitored but where the monitoring and accountability systems are removed? The call is to make accountability part of “Statutory Instrument” legislation relating to this act so that damage to people’s health and the environment can be traced, corrected or stopped.
Precision Breeding Organisms as the new GM terminology is called, is certainly more detailed than some of the older techniques. However, it can still have unregistered and unintended changes in the DNA of the plant, animal or ‘trait’ it is applied to.
References to the legislation and research are provided in the statement below ( PDF download here)2023Nov-Sector Position Genetic Technologies Act NOV23