DEFRA Consultation information

Where can I buy shares in Green Gloves? I cannot see any other outcome over GM than conflict. DEFRA was created after Foot and Mouth. It was intended to move away from intensive agriculture, abuse of food and close the gap with the environment. I was very much in favour. I’m sorry to say it has failed.

As the northern representative for the Small Farms Association I attended a pre consultation meeting on the commercial growing of GM: the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. I was in the ‘Regulatory burdens on farmers’ section. We are bound by the ‘Charter House Rules’. This I understand to mean that I am allowed to say what was said but not who said it. No problem in this case – the whole meeting was moving in the same direction – agribusiness, profit and GM. Presumably if I’m breaking the Charter House Rules I will be punished - by matron?

What is most concerning is that the whole approach is leading towards conflict. GM will be grown, no mention of environmental damage. No right to be GM Free. No concern for the citizen. Very limited central record keeping. A belief that 200 metre separation distances will keep GM and non-GM apart. It was a completely commercial, agribusiness, non environmental approach. It would be done by the large farms: “GM would be in the progressive sector”.

The labelling laws state that something with more than 0.9% unintended GM has to be labelled GM. This has moved to:- Up to 0.9% GM is non-GM. Labelling has moved to covering a crop with up to 0.9% GM is non-GM.

Someone (?!!) asked questions about allotment holders and gardeners wishing to grow a GM Free crop and it to remain so. This was not ‘relevant’. GM was only a problem (i.e. illegal) if the corn on the cob/ beet/ oil seed rape/ potatoes were for sale. For peoples own consumption it did not apply. Is not all food for consumption? Why should people buying in a supermarket be protected from GM while those eating their ‘home grown’ be kept in the dark? Thus it appears that the gardeners and allotment holders can have GM inflicted on them to any level including above 0.9% 

It was perfectly safe to eat beef - humans couldn’t catch BSE. Even politicians force fed their daughters. I questioned for decades feeding ground up sheep and chicken feathers to cattle. I was told I didn’t know my chemistry. “Protein is protein is protein”.

Prior to that DDT had been used for dusting down people for body lice – it was safe. All this proves the usual point ‘The one thing that we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history’.

One of the ‘rules’ for GM is that a crop is only considered GM until it is eaten. Thus when GM maize is fed to cattle it is no longer GM. Presumable on the basis that ‘protein is protein is protein’. The ‘rule of return’, the natural biological cycles, the ‘we are what we eat’ are banned. They are replaced by ‘we can control nature’ ‘food is chemical’. The separation of food and the environment is continued.

We are heading for another potential BSE/CJD crisis. Unless the public says NO to GM the future is not bright, the future is not ‘green’.