GMO news related to United Kingdom

04.01.2013 |

UK government’s enthusiasm for GM not matched in developing nations

After years of encouraging developing countries in Africa and elsewhere to grow them, but unable to allow its own farmers to do so, the environment secretary Owen Paterson has told a major conference that GM can secure countries’ food supplies, is good for the public and can help limit climate change. [...] But despite billions of dollars spent on research by rich countries on feeding hungry people, most developing countries remain suspicious of the claims, or convinced that the benefits will go mainly to the corporations that control the seeds and chemicals needed to grow the crops. What is remarkable is not that GM crops have, after 20 years and so much money spent, now reached 19 out of more than 150 developing countries, but that most nations have managed to keep out a rapacious industry, and that only a handful of GM food commodity crops like oilseed rape, soya and maize are still grown, mainly for animals and biofuels.

20.12.2012 |

British GM wheat trials to go ahead next year

Scientists will go ahead with plans to plant genetically modified crops in the UK next year, despite vandalism during the summer. The Rothamsted Research institute are planning to plant GM wheat in fields in Hertfordshire. Protests were held at the site last year and an intruder was charged with criminal damage after allegedly scaling the fence and sprinkling natural wheat. But a spokesman for the institute insisted the experiment will continue. The scientists are trying to create the world’s first GM strain to repel insects rather than killing them.

06.11.2012 |

Hype and doubts about “medicinal” GM tomato

Claims about drug carrying genetically engineered tomatoes should be treated cautiously. Researchers fed the GM tomatoes to mice as a small part of a Western-style high-fat, calorie-packed diet. The study has not been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal but its findings are being promoted as a way to “reduce global epidemic of heart disease”. [...] according to the Daily Mail; “Researchers hope to mass produce the GM tomato so it can be eaten around the world”. Dr Fogelman is no stranger to cashing in on his research. Some years ago his private company (presumably something he runs during the evenings and days off from his University job) secured a $200 million dollar deal with Novartis for another application of peptides.

31.07.2012 |

UK GE wheat trials: The Rothamsted GM debate

After nearly a decade during which the UK has been substantially GM-free, the government has subsidised Rothamsted, the agricultural research station, to conduct an open-air trial of a GM wheat transgenically engineered to repel aphids. In early May, Rothamsted invited protesters planning to demonstrate against the trial to a public dialogue. The Land responded to Rothamsted proposing a debate by email, the first part of which is published here. The six questions we put to Rothamsted focus mainly on the ethics and wisdom of breaking a de facto moratorium on GM in the UK (and most of Europe), rather than on technical aspects of this particular experiment.

29.05.2012 |

Anti-GM protesters kept from tearing up wheat crop by police

Police kept hundreds of protesters at bay as they attempted to destroy a field where genetically modified wheat is being tested in Hertfordshire. Mounted officers helped bring activists to a halt in front of the entrance to land owned by the Rothamsted research institute [...] Hertfordshire police handed out leaflets at Harpenden station warning that St Albans council had forbidden “trespassory assembly” under section 14A of the Public Order Act as anti-GM campaigners gathered in a park next to the estate.

04.04.2012 |

Mass protest planned against UK GM wheat trial

Protesters are planning to descend on the gates of Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire as part of a campaign against genetically modified wheat. The group, called “Take The Flour Back“, has launched a website campaign to protest against the aphid-resistant wheat trial at Rothamsted. They say they are planning a “mass action against genetically modified wheat” at the research institute’s headquarters. An announcement on their website says: “Bakers, farmers, growers, allotment holders, scientists, beekeepers, and people who eat food are turning out to voice their opposition to GM crops coming back to the UK.

27.09.2010 |

Public opinion stopped GM, says campaigner

The tide has turned globally against the introduction of genetically modified crops, Lord Melchett, the former director of Greenpeace and campaigner for organic farming and food, said yesterday. Fifteen years ago, many governments thought GM crops and food would become the norm, but it has not happened because of rising public resistance around the world, and it will not happen, he said.

13.05.2009 |

Golden Rice: A dangerous experiment

Changing agricultural models have contributed to vitamin A deficiency. Interestingly, WHO’s recommended practice of growing beta-carotene-rich leafy vegetables in home gardens was common in developing countries before the arrival of World Bank, IMF and other Western-backed programmes that forced farmers into growing cash crops for export. [...] It is ironic that Golden Rice is a ”solution” promoted by Western interests to a problem that was arguably generated by Western interests in the first place.

13.05.2009 |

Call for agricultural research to serve people, not corporate interests

Farmers and food consumers worldwide need a stronger say in how agricultural research is funded, designed, implemented and controlled to ensure that the knowledge produced brings the most social and environmental benefits. So says a multimedia e-book published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) today to coincide with the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which focuses heavily on agriculture.

29.04.2009 |

Is the UK ready to rethink its stance on GM?

Faced with climate change and a global population pushing seven billion, we need serious solutions, says ecologist Rosie Hails. And like it or not, she thinks scientists, politicians and the public need to reconsider GM. [...] we need a change in legislation. Current environmental laws have many strengths but focus on risks and do not consider benefits.

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