Beyond GM celebrates its first birthday

November 13, 2015 by Pat Thomas

It’s hard to believe that our Beyond GM campaign is a year old this week!

As one of our supporters you have been part of a unique drive to re-engage the public in the UK, the EU and beyond in the GMO debate.

Look how far we’ve come 

We’ve achieved a lot this year:

  • Our Letter from America launched with endorsements from individuals, celebrities, NGOs and organisation representing 57 million Americans. That number is now close to 61 million. We were lucky enough to take the letter on tour with Neil Young in the US during the first leg of his 2015 US tour.
  • Nearly 2000 people have signed up to our GM Free Me visual petition, which also has the support of a diverse number of high profile individuals including renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, musician Daddy G (Massive Attack), gardener Alys Fowler, photographer Mary McCartney, 2014 Mr Universe Barny Du Plessis, and celebrity chefs Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson, as well as a number of others.
  • We’ve taken our GMO OMG film nights to cinemas and church halls around the country, helping to start some very lively and personal conversations about GMOs.
  • We’ve help found a new campaigning group – Mums Say No to GMOs who are currently busy addressing the hidden GMOs in supermarkets and the ubiquitous pesticides that damage our health.
  • We were amongst the featured speakers at the European GMO Free Regions conference.
  • We’ve publicly challenged pro-GMO bias in the media with a comprehensive report, Cultivating Mythson public attitudes to the way GMOs are represented by large organisations like the BBC.
  • We’ve engaged politicians and policymakers at UK and EU level and were co-organisers of The Free Lunch event outside the European Parliament which recently fed 1000 people a plant-based, GMO-free meal made from produce that would have been thrown away. The project, part of our ongoing lobbying for a comprehensive sustainable food policy in the EU, also fed 500 refugees camped out in a Brussels park. It also launched the first four of our Good Food Makes Everything Better series of leaflets.

A new project

We are now engaged in a global photographic project that will showcase farmers from around the world who are producing abundant and sustainable food without GMOs. The We Feed the World project aims to tell a more inspiring story of food production and introduce us all to the farmers who are feeding around 70% of the world. It will launch late in 2016. Please pledge your support to our Crowdfunder appeal.

But there’s a long way to go

In the last year EU rules have changed to allow Member States to plant GMOs if they want to – or opt out if they don’t. But, in spite of what you may have read, the opt out process is a legal nightmare and Member States that wish to opt out currently have no protection against being pursued through the courts for restriction of trade.

And this week the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) gave glyphosate – recently declared a probable human carcinogen by the International agency on Cancer Research a ‘pass’ – bringing it one step closer to being re-licensed under EU law.

The upshot is we have a long way to go before we have a GMO-free Europe – and longer still before we can convince the UK government to fall in line with to public demands for a completely GMO-free country.


Our core activities rely on donations to keep them going. Your support to help us reach our second birthday is much needed and If you know someone who would benefit from knowing about our campaign, please forward this email to them and encourage them to sign up.