Propaganda dressed up as journalism

June 12, 2015 by Pat Thomas

It’s been a busy couple of months for us at Beyond GM.

In the run up to the UK elections Parliament was dissolved and many campaigning groups had a short while to take a breath and plan next steps.

There was a lot of that going on at the global GMO Free Regions 2015 conference in Berlin where groups from around the world gathered to support each other, make connections and explore issues in the kind of depth that often gets lost in the rush of day-to-day campaigning.

The meeting attracted campaigners from all over the world including the Organic Consumers Association, GM-Free Australia Alliance, Friends of the Earth Europe (FOE) and Corporate Observatory Europe (COE). Beyond GM Director Pat Thomas was on a panel with FOE and COE for a lively debate on how TTIP might influence EU policy on GMOs and was also asked to present a workshop on our Letter from America campaign.

The compelling message of the Letter and the way our supporters have rallied behind it continues to draw interest from around the world. The letter has now been translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian and Polish with Russian and Czech translations due soon.

We spent a lot of time providing thoughtful information behind the scenes to a BBC-TV documentary. Indeed many of our NGO colleagues did the same. The programme that was eventually broadcast, titled GM Food – Cultivating Fear, was a disappointing piece of media propaganda which denounced those who question or oppose GMOs as fear-mongering and morally corrupt.

We have posted a robust response to this – and it is a very serious issue because our media helps shape the public’s views on so many issues.

We have also opened a survey asking for people’s views about BBC coverage of GMO issues. Response has been great so far but the survey closes soon so do act now if you want to add your views.

Beyond GM took part in the March Against Monsanto in London and our GM Free Me table was swamped with people wanting to join in. The Mums Say No to GMOs group made a rousing debut – their colourful banners were very much in evidence on the day an in the media coverage of the march, and we can expect more good activities from them shortly.

Beyond GM director Lawrence Woodward got the crowd going with a fiery speech which pretty accurately predicted the content of the Panorama programme and hammered home why that narrative is so absolutely false.

Our GMO OMG film tour continues around the UK to sell-out crowds. We’ve had screenings in Bristol, Northampton, Belfast and London. If you’d like to have a screening in your local area contact us.

You can catch up with more of our news in the stories below.

Finally, our GM Free Me shop is now up and running with a selection of men’s and women’s t-shirts and tote bags. These ethical, organic items help to spread the GM free message and also provide welcome funding for our campaign as well as.

As a small not-for-profit campaign we rely on donations to keep going. If you appreciate the work we are doing please show your support either by purchasing a t-shirt or making a donation through PayPal.