Anti-GM campaigners concerned over UK’s plans to plant GM crops in next few years

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The government is preparing for the planting of GM crops in the UK by putting in place ‘rules’ to govern their use once the EU has finalised its new regulation – which could take place next week.

In a letter to the Beyond GM campaign group, Lord de Mauley states that “the government will ensure that pragmatic rules are in place to segregate GM and non-GM production, so that choice is facilitated.”

Alarming campaigners, this looks like a significant weakening of the Conservatives’ 2010 manifesto which commits the party to “develop a legally-binding protocol covering the separation of GM and non-GM material, including clear industry liability.”

The letter also provides some reassurance to campaigners who have feared that proposed changes in the EU’s GMO authorisation process would lead to GM crops being grown in England as early as the 2015 planting season:

“We do not expect any commercial planting of GM crops in the UK for at least a few years as no GM crops in the EU approval pipeline are of major interest to UK farmers”, writes de Mauley.

GM crops might not be ready for planting in the UK in 2015 or even 2016 – but the ground is being prepared for them now, as is the GMO creep onto our supermarket shelves and into our food.

That means that now is the time for citizens to find their voices, speak up and campaign effectively – especially in the run-up to the 2015 election.

Read full, original article: UK ministers prepare for 2017 GM crop rollout

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