Your right to choose GM-free food could be about to disappear, but the fight isnÂ¹t over yet. If we donÂ¹t act NOW, the first GM crops could be grown here as soon as next summer. As little as 14 per cent of people in Britain support GM food but the Government is still pushing ahead with its plans to start growing GM crops for sale here.
Meanwhile the US Government, under pressure from powerful companies, is threatening legal action if the European market doesnÂ¹t open up to their GM products.
If you want to ensure a GM-free harvest, join farmers, consumers, tractors and trolleys in a mass action in London. The action will be fun, peaceful and good humoured and will involve tractors and trolleys parading through London to a mass rally, followed by a Oharvest festivalÂ¹ tea.
When : Monday 13th October 2003
Where : London
Who : Everyone with an interest in growing and eating safe food
How : Push a trolley, drive your tractor or just come along and celebrate a GM-free harvest
The protest will be joined in London by a group of OpilgrimsÂ¹ who will have made their way there from their home towns either on foot, bicycle, or tractor. The pilgrims will travel via places of interest to both the GM debate and the wider issues of food production, e.g. GM trial site locations, company headquarters, local campaign groups, organic farms and farmersÂ¹ markets. The pilgrimsÂ¹ journeys will publicise the issues and build public and media interest for the parade.
What you can do:
1. Come to the parade yourself. You can register via the website: http://www.tractorandtrolley.com
or by emailing: info at foe.co.uk
2. Write a letter to Tony Blair voicing your opposition to GM food and crops. Either give the letter to your local pilgrim who will hand deliver it to 10 Downing Street on 13th October or post it to Five Year Freeze who will hand deliver it on the day: Blair Letter Action, Five Year Freeze, 94 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF
Points to mention in your letter:
? public opinion is still overwhelmingly against the introduction of GM crops
? the possible risks to health and the environment outweigh any potential benefits and many
uncertainties have not been resolved
? the government must address the problem of cross contamination of GM and non-GM and organic
crops and ensure the protection of these markets, and guarantee that the right to buy produce free from GM will be ensured
? the government must also introduce liability legislation to ensure that the developers of GM technology
are financially liable for any health or environmental problems that result from their products
? UK agriculture could gain a competitive advantage from remaining OGM-freeÂ¹ and increasing organic
? if GM crops are introduced then you will not buy them, nor any meat or dairy products from animals
fed on GM crops
? GM crops will lead to further intensification of farming and corporate control of the food chain which will
damage both the environment and local communities
3. Help give your local pilgrims a good send-off
Your local pilgrims are:
Jonny Barton, Laikenbuie, Nairn IV12 5QN, Phone: 01667 454554 Email: jonnygmgardener at
Steve Paget, Crannich, Newmore, Invergordon IV18 0PG Phone 01349 854510
Date and venue Wednesday 1st October, site of last yearÂ¹s GM trial, send-off: Roskill Farm, Munlochy, departing at 10.30 am.
Jonny is cycling from Munlochy to London pulling a coffin on a trailer.This is to represent the death of consumer choice should GM crops be grown in this country. Please come along to give him a good send-off and accompany him by bicycle to Inverness, where they are due to depart from Inverness High Street at 1pm.
Jonny's Scottish itinerary:
Wed 1st 6pm arrive Keith
Thur 2nd 10am depart Keith
11.30am depart Huntly
2pm depart Inverurie
3.30pm arrive Aberdeen centre
5.30pm arrive Muchalls near Stonehaven
Friday 3rd 9am depart Stonehaven
12pm depart Montrose centre
1pm arrive Arbroath centre
4pm arrive Dundee, Sainsbury's supermarket (Arbroath Road)
Sat 4th 11am depart Dundee centre over Tay Bridge visit GM contaminated field with MSP Ruskell other cyclists
5pm arrive Edinburgh
Sun 5th 10.15am depart Edinburgh Usher Hall, Lothian Road, with other cyclists and 2 MSPs Ballard and Harper
5pm arrive Jedburgh
For more details of JonnyÂ¹s itinerary, phone him on 01667 454554 until October 1st or on his mobile after this on 07798 555895
Steve's Scottish itinerary so far:
Weds 1st arrive Loch Lochy / Fort William
Thurs 2nd arrive Oban
Friday 3rd arrive Glasgow
Saturday 4th leave Glasgow for the South...
For more details of Steve's itinerary, phone him on 01349 854510.
STATEMENT My name is Jonny Barton, age 31, organic farmworker, teacher of English as a foreign language, living and working on an organic farm in Nairnshire, Highland region of Scotland.
My reasons for doing this green pilgrimage are several:
I am publicly showing my support for a sustainable and GM-Free Britain along with many in Scotland and the rest of the British Isles who want the same, whether or not they are travelling to London like me;
I am joining in the national mass rally in London on the 13th of October but on the way am visiting communities and public places to raise awareness of the Green Gloves Pledge to take direct action if the GM crops are legalised this year in the UK;
Thirdly this journey is a celebration of the success of the anti-GM campaign by ordinary people in Britain.
I have been involved in the campaign for a GM-Free Britain since Spring last year. It was then that I joined the Munlochy GM Vigil which was set up to watch the GM oilseed rape crop at Munlochy, near Inverness. The people involved had set up a yurt by the field. I visited this and then got more involved. I have written letters to MSPs, MPs, newspapers. Also I have handed out information in the streets, joined the Government's own 'GM Nation?' National debate in Glasgow and locally. I have taken part in public protests at the Munlochy field and other parts of the UK and once been arrested for it although the court acquitted me.
Most people in Britain would join me in urging this government to back off from legalising GM crops and food, and in doing this protect the environment from further damage, protect the people's right to choose safe food.
I will be cycling from Inverness on 1st October, to London, not walking and I will be pulling a coffin behind me. This is a symbol of the seriousness of the Genetically Modified farming:- the death of organic farming, and the death of the democratic right to choose safe food, death of more British biodiversity, the risk of environmental biohazards, the risk of public health hazards from eating GM foods.
Some will see the coffin as marking the terminal illness of public confidence in the government.
The British government should resist the propaganda from US state officials and US multinational companies which say this technology will feed the starving. It is purely for the purpose of making money, greed. Every year massive food surpluses are dumped by both countries, not because everyone is fed but because the starving cannot afford to buy it. Ask any aid agency what they think of GM food aid!!