The Real Bread Campaign has delivered a pledge to the government from more than 350 bakers, millers, farmers and consumers not to sell or buy GM wheat.
The pledge was accompanied by a letter to Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, expressing deep concerns about the testing of GM wheat at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire.
Chris Young of the Real Bread Campaign said: “The Real Bread Campaign finds ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. We cannot see how GM technology fits with any of these aims.”
Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, added: “Our members feel there are too many unknowns and risks associated with GM food. We believe the health and wellbeing of people should be put before profit, and people have the right to know what is in their food. GM foods should not enter the food chain until it is proven beyond doubt there are no associated risks. GM crops have been heralded as the future by some, but previous experience tells us that such promises need to be very carefully scrutinised before allowing them to enter our environment and food chain.”
Signatories have pledged that they:
· Will not buy GM wheat or any products containing GM wheat
· Will not use GM wheat in their businesses
· Do not want GM wheat or the risks it brings to our food chain and countryside
· Want the money being spent on testing GM wheat to be used for non-GM agricultural research
Defra granted Rothamsted Research permission to release wheat lines genetically modified for resistance to aphids last year. A march on Rothamsted Research has been organised by www.taketheflourback.org for 27 May.
GM Freeze has also published a review of research projects showing how farmers can manage their farms to attract predators and parasites of aphids to make ensure the pest never reaches numbers that would reduce yield from wheat crops. This can be found at: www.gmfreeze.org/publications/briefings/127/.