The GM battle is far from overThe GM battle is far from over - support our appeal

All the major supermarkets now sell meat, eggs, dairy and farmed fish from animals fed on GM feed (with the exception of Waitrose, leading the way by keeping GM feed out of its poultry). Yet none of the food products from these animals are labelled to show the animals have been fed on GM feed, keeping consumers in the dark. Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, seems determined to railroad GM into our countryside and into our food, without protecting the integrity of organic food or the right of any farmer to grow GM free food.

Most disturbingly, the influence of international corporations on politicians and others - for example the World Food Prize being awarded to a Monsanto executive this year - seems to be shaping opinion that organic ways of farming are irrelevant to the need to feed a growing population, when major studies1 show that the opposite is true.

The Soil Association needs to fight for the right of farmers and consumers to choose, ensuring our voice is heard and to show that organic methods can yield bigger dividends for people and the environment than GM ever could. A donation from you can help us do this.

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We need your help to:

  • Campaign to get retailers to label meat, eggs and dairy fed on GM feed, so that you have a choice. To fight for your right to choose a diet free-from GM.
     
  • Ensure our voice is heard in the media and by politicians - both when we believe something is wrong, but also to share better solutions to feeding the world.
     
  • Research and publish the latest evidence on how organic farming methods, not GM, are the fair and responsible way forward.
     
  • Support the farmers and growers who are saving our heritage seeds, so that they are available for future non-GM breeding programmes.
     
  • Encourage the many scientists who are making great advances in plant breeding, producing crops that are already helping farmers in continents like Africa, without the use of GM.
     
  • Continue to publicise the ever-increasing evidence of the side effects of GM such as superweeds, wildlife impacts, increased pesticide use, reduced crop diversity and debt for small farmers, as they emerge in the US and elsewhere.

Find out more about the facts when it comes to GM

The pro-GM lobby regularly portray critics of GM crops as 'anti-science'. Soil Association Policy Director, Peter Melchett, explains how the pro-GM lobby is guilty of being anti-science itself, in his article 'The pro-GM lobby's seven sins against science'. See the seven sins here, read the article, equip yourself with the facts, and feel confident in highlighting the flaws of GM crops.

See the Seven Sins here in picture form

Read Peter Melchett's article in full, 'The pro-GM lobby's seven sins against science'

Find out more about our policy on GM

Find out how GM rice is outperformed by less publicised but more effective solutions when it comes to tackling vitamin A deficiency

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Footnotes:

1. For example, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology 2009 report, the largest scientific review of the future of farming, carried out by 400 international scientists under the auspices of the UN.

Helen Browning

Helen Browning

Open quotesOn my farm, like most others, we have had a difficult time, after the appalling weather conditions of last year. Could GM technology have helped at all?

To start with, given the unpredictable nature of our climate now, we could not have known whether to plant a drought tolerant or flood tolerant crop!

What we do need help with, is breeding taller strawed varieties of cereals that will control weeds, but still maintain yields and quality, which could easily be done using normal breeding techniques, if only we could persuade research institutes to fund this work. Or to rehabilitate our soils as quickly as possible, which is so important for all farmers.

We must ensure that much more research funding is directed towards the work that will benefit all of society, help with climate change, care for farm animals and wildlife, and ensure healthy food for everyone, here and worldwide.Close quotes

Helen is the Soil Association's Chief Executive, and an organic farmer - she runs Eastbrook Farm in Wiltshire, a 1,350 acre organic livestock and arable farm.