Europe opens its doors to GMOs

January 21, 2015 by Pat Thomas

You may have seen some headlines proclaiming that new EU legislation on GMOs is a ‘win’ for environmental campaigners.

Don’t believe it. The corporate PR spin on the EU’s shocking betrayal of its citizens is designed to quell public opposition at a time when a concerted effort by the public could make all the difference.

The new rules on ‘opting out’ of planting GMOs are actually an ‘opt in’ putting multiple obstacles in the way of countries like Germany and France, that wish to stay GM free, while smoothing the path for pro-GM Member States – like the UK – to begin planting. With the new legislation, due to be adopted in the spring, even the GM-free status of Wales and Scotland, which have so long been at the forefront of GM opposition in the UK, is in doubt.

In response to our Letter from America campaign last year, Beyond GM received a letter from Defra (Department for Environment and Rural Affairs) junior minster Lord de Mauley outlining UK plans to plant GMOs as soon as is practicable.

Sharing de Mauley’s exclusive letter to us through the media gave us all a useful timetable to work with.

Beyond GM is more committed than ever to keeping up the pressure on politicians and policy-makers to justify their senseless embrace of GMOs, as well as challenging supermarkets to stop the slow creep of GMO ingredients and products that are increasingly finding their way into the UK food system – and to put labels on products made from animals that have been raised on GMO feed.

We want to do more than disseminate information and debate behind closed doors. The majority of people in the UK don’t want GMOs here and it’s time to make this opposition more widely known. It is now more urgent than ever that citizens across the UK, the EU and beyond demonstrate their concerns publicly and vocally. Strong public opposition will help force the Government to put in place measures that will ensure our right to be GM free; and will protect farmland, the countryside, and the food chain from GMO contamination.

Through quality information on our home website, and campaigns such as, The Letter from America, GM Free Me, networks such as Mums Say No to GMOs and other new initiatives which will be rolled out during 2015, we aim to stimulate and facilitate effective public opposition to this government- and industry-backed GMO invasion of the UK and the rest of Europe.

If we can do this we can provide effective support for our colleagues and friends in the US, indeed throughout the Americas, who are working so hard to label and remove GMOs from their food system.

Unlike many large campaigning organisations we do not have corporate sponsorship. This helps us maintain our independence but it also means that we have to shout louder in order to compete for funds. If you value our work, and you are able to, please make a donation (via PayPal on any of our websites; or for larger donations please contact to help us keep moving forward and pushing for a GM free world.