Sneaking GM food into the UK’s food chain via the backdoor

Looks like there’s a serious attempt at sneaking GM food into Britain via the backdoor. And it has to be the backdoor, of course, because in the EU we still have GM labeling. There is still a large feeling against GM foods in the UK. This arose as a result of the findings of Dr Arpad Pusztai which indicated that rats fed on GM potatoes developed compromised immune systems. Hence the labelling laws. Incidentally, Dr Pusztai was removed from his position and his team disbanded, presumably because he got the wrong results!

GM food via backdoor

As a vegan I often ask the question”what’s in this, please” when buying food. It’s a reasonable question and I use it often. I am certainly keen to know if GMOs are in my food, I tend to avoid them if possible. Meat eaters are beginning to wonder about what’s in their meaty food products too, given the recent horse meat scandal. It’s outrageous that manufacturers often don’t seem to know what’s in their products or where the ingredients have come from. The once vegan only question of “what’s in this, please” is becoming of more importance to meat eaters, especially given further developments aimed at getting GM food in via the backdoor.

 GM Food via backdoor – Tactic #1

Largely unnoticed, British supermarkets have agreed to sell GM fed meat products. These will not be labelled as GM because the animal itself has not been genetically modified. Supermarkets claim these products are safe and there is a shortage of non-GM animal feed. But are they telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but?

However, the Soil Association is not impressed and qualify safety claims by saying that

  • GM DNA can be detected in animal based products
  • There is, in fact non-GM feed available

They are calling for clear labeling so consumers can make an informed choice. Seems very reasonable and shame on the supermarkets for not providing it. Of course, as  a vegan I’m not affected directly, but it’s a worrying step in completely the wrong direction. You can read a lot more about this issue and efforts to oppose it on this Facebook event page.

GM food via backdoor tactics #2

David Heath Agriculture Minister

An even more worrying development concerns an article about growing your own veggies in Tuesday’s Telegraph because of impending food shortages. Lib Dem, David Heath, the agriculture minister, suggests this is due to previous policy mistakes. We don’t produce enough food! He says schools should teach kids about growing food and damningly says

Mr Heath said he believed that genetically modified crops (GM) would have a potentially significant role in meeting food needs in future, by developing higher yielding varieties and crops that require less intensive inputs.

The government is planning to lobby other European Union countries to lift current restrictions on the use of GM technology, he added.

“I think we need to move the EU forward on this because at the moment that is a significant blockage to areas where we have real expertise,” he said.

Significant blockage means that public and MEP opinion is against GM food! Moving the EU forward means getting GM food and crops into Europe. The coalition government IS in favour of GM food, according to the GeneWatch site, which tracks these things.

Ouch! GM food via backdoor tactics! Our current Government plan to lobby the EU to accept GM crops, won’t Monsanto be pleased! In conjunction with supermarkets agreeing to sell meat reared on GM feed, there are dangerous precedents being set…

 Stopping GM food via backdoor

While there are campaigners against GM food, this gradual edging towards an introduction of GM food via backdoor tactics is an example of Machiavellian political maneuvering. Lobbying from the corporations gets the wheels turning and the tactics begin – scare the public, suggest alternatives are undesirable, introduce the desired policy.

It’s time to do something about it

That’s a small step, only a small step but if we keep ‘em peeled we can help prevent GM food via backdoor tactics ruining the food chain for future generations.

Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
Brilliant book, well written and researched in depth!

6 thoughts on “Sneaking GM food into the UK’s food chain via the backdoor”

Got something to say? Go on, you know you want to!