Things to do
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If after assessing the facts you would like to see more controls
or blocks on the development of GM, then here are some ideas that may be of
interest. Please note that LABB does not necessarily endorse all the views or suggestions presented on other websites.
- GM Freeze is running a campaign - 'Feed me the Truth' - that ranks supermarkets on their commitment to supporting and developing non-GM-fed animal products. Leaflets and an Action Guide are available, and supporters are encouraged to carry out imaginative in-store actions to highlight shortcomings.
"GM is still in the food chain, but not on the label. Genetically
modified crops still feed many of the animals we eat or use for eggs
and milk, and it is this “hidden” GM feed that is keeping the biotech
industry alive and profitable," said GM Freeze, "Customers need to keep up their pressure on supermarkets". GM Freeze offers a guide to the issues and a sample letter. Supermarkets need to be told there is no shortage of GM-free feed - see What's New: Local Interest.
- GM Freeze has prepared an action guide: Speak up for the regulation of new GM techniques -
"The European Commission is about to decide whether or not a set of new genetic engineering techniques should be regulated as GM. Let them know why they should and why it matters to you." (See also Hot Topics - Gene editing)
- An analysis published by Friends of the Earth showed European GM regulations were under threat of being weakened by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which was at the time being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States. Details were withheld from the public, and several NGOs (including Global Justice Now (WDM) and Greenpeace) opposed what they saw as an open door for business interests. There is more information here, but the situation has now changed somewhat. You may want to raise the issue with your MEP (see below). See also Scotland Against TTIP for updates and ongoing actions.
- UK products from GM technology [early summary by GM Freeze]
"In 2003 Greenpeace produced a 13 page booklet listing hundreds of
products to help shoppers try to avoid buying GM foods. Since then
overwhelming public rejection has succeeded in forcing most of these
products off supermarket shelves or the replacement of the GM
components with non-GM. However, in recent months we have noticed a few
GM products for sale in UK supermarkets. We want to develop a new list
in order to help shoppers avoid these products and to help direct
pressure on supermarkets to stop selling them.
"If you find a product containing GM for sale in the UK, please send us:
"Many thanks for your help. As long as some supermarkets say they are
keeping an 'open mind' about GM, we need to help them understand that
their customers are still resolutely opposed." For details, see current list of products
- the name of the product
- the GM ingredient(s) concerned
- the name and address of the shop where you found it
- the date you saw the item for sale
- a photograph of the label stating the GM content if at all possible
- what, if anything, the store manager has to say in response to any complaint you make
- Weak surveillance and ignorance of the law are still allowing GM
products unlabelled into catering outlets (news Archive 7/4/08). All food outlets must by law provide clear information on any GM ingredients. An action guide [60K Word document] is still available from Friends of the Earth along with a newer guide "What's in your chips?" from GM Freeze. Both these guides give an introductory background and describe how to contact your local Trading Standards office.
- There is a petition to 'natural' detergent manufacturer Ecover to avoid the use of synthetic biology (advanced GM) in its products. (See What's New: Local Interest)
- Following the discovery of a Bt toxin from GM crops in pregnant women and foetuses - 'Archive', 20/5/11 - GM Freeze suggests the public should write to supermarkets and Members of Parliament, and provides guidelines for doing this.
- The sale of food from the offspring of cloned animals is now regarded as legal, but it is not to be labelled. Refer to 'What's New' for details. You may wish to raise this issue with your MP, MEP and MSP (see below).
- Write to your food supplier, MSP, MP, MEP or local councillor, outlining
in your own words any points of concern you may have. Find your local MSP, your local MP, your local MEPs. Or you can find them and write using the website 'Write to Them'.
Include your postal address - it is always useful to write in
such a way that a reply is in order. Do not be surprised
if you receive an unsatisfactory response - many officials and elected
representatives have little time or inclination to explore the facts for themselves.
It is quite likely that you will receive a skilfully worded but very selective
reply - plan your letters accordingly.
- Letters to newspapers are also useful - keep them brief and
topical. Remember newspapers may have their own agenda. If possible
mention some hard facts, since the industry is trying to deny there are
any 'scientific' reasons to object to GM.
- Several recent news items affect UK consumers, and letters of concern to elected representatives continue to be appropriate, particularly (see Archive 10/12/12) since the UK Government continues to ignore mounting evidence of hazards:
a new report on the dangers of GM crops & food: 'GMO Myths & Truths';
the approval of GM animals, pending (Archive 21/6/12);
contamination of food by unapproved GMOs (Archive 27/6/12);
outdated official information about animals fed on GM products (Archive 31/7/12);
a ground-breaking long term toxicity study (Archive 19/9/12).
- GM Freeze also has a useful webpage kept up to date with suggestions for action, such as letters, petitions, etc.
- Support a campaigning organisation - there are several mentioned elsewhere on this website, particularly in GM Basics.
- Take some of LABB's posters or leaflets for your friends and local
shops. Subscribe to our free email GM news circulars (average about one
a day at present). Send requests by email (see Home Page
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