A fairy tale for Christmas

December 2012

It seems a wicked witch has been plying the Environment Minister in Westminster, Owen Paterson, with a rosy-red GM apple.

The UK government has been engaging in a pre-Christmas high-pressure media campaign pushing its wish-list of fantasy GM crops which will be good for the environment, increase yields, prevent crop disease, reduce pesticide use ... and anyway public hostility to GM is waning ... (yes, you've heard it all before, and it remains as untrue, as unproven, and as misleadingly presented today as it ever was).

The biggest wish that the fairy godmother has failed to deliver is the claim that concerns about the health effects of GM foods are “misplaced”, “a complete nonsense”, and that those voicing the concern about GM “poisons in foods” are “humbugs”.

In Scotland, we have our very own government GM-propagandist in the form of Tory MSP, Murdo Fraser, who is faithfully repeating all the same fantasies (surprise, surprise) including “there is no more risk in eating GM food than eating conventionally farmed food”.

However, in light of the results of Professor Séralini's long-term feeding study (see GM MAIZE IS NOT SAFE TO EAT- October 2012) claims of 'misplaced concern' and 'no risk' sound very hollow. The indications of endocrine disruption, cancer, and liver and kidney disease from eating Roundup Ready GM maize and the Roundup herbicide it accumulates sound like very serious health risks indeed.

Since the Tories in government are clearly too busy reciting the fairy stories prepared for them by the biotech industry to have time to read the science, here is a perfect opportunity for YOU to tell everyone about Professor Séralini's study:
  • Complain to your MP and MSP about the industry misinformation being spread by government, and mention Séralini's study as clear evidence of risk. Your can do this through
  • If you see any article in the press or hear any item on the air which repeats the industry misinformation being spread by government, drop the editor a short note and mention Séralini's study as clear scientific grounds for concern.
The reference to quote is: Gilles-Eric Séralini et al., 2012, Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize, Food and Chemical Toxicology, on-line August 2012

Perhaps if Mr. Paterson and Mr. Fraser want to live happily ever after, they should seek better advice in future or choose their friends more carefully.

  • A GM fairy-tale for Christmas, GM-Free Cymru Press Notice 11.12.12
  • Kirsteen Paterson, Tory claims GM crop field trials ban is 'holding back science', Metro12.12.12
  • GM health fears 'complete nonsense', says Owen Paterson, Guardian, 10.12.12
  • Robert Winnett and James Kirkup, Food minister Owen Paterson backs GM crops, Telegraph, 9.12.12
  • Christopher Hope, Speed up roll-out of GM crops, says Downing Street, Telegraph, 10.12.12

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