26 July 2010
Dear Mr Sturdy
Thank you very much for your email letter of 20th July regarding GMOs.
I can understand your concerns, but believe that it’s not quite a contradiction to import GM fed animal food while disallowing GM crops to be grown. Growing GM crops will threaten the UK’s organic crops, wildlife, wild plants, and soil because of cross-contamination and monoculture farming methods. The UK is a relatively small country that has its own unique biodiversity which we need to protect. In addition, unlike the ability to recall a medicine if it turns out less than effective, we do not have the ability to reverse GMOs. However, it does demonstrate a shortcoming in the law that GM fed food labelling is presently not required and that GM feed and food from GM fed animals is even allowed at all.
As one of my representatives in the European arena, I would not expect for you to overly worry about respecting international trade rules. It is common knowledge that the international trade rules on GMOs stem from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which is lobbied by the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC for short). And as the world now knows full well, the WTO, the IPC and ‘free trade’ primarily serve the interests of big multi-national corporations, which by law operate to make profit for shareholders. Factors such as the environment, our health, biodiversity, welfare of a nation, starving people, and the future of children, by and large, do not come into consideration by corporate directors or shareholders. Unless and until company law is changed, these things will continue to depend on government intervention and control.
I have checked my sources and confirmed that the record shows my three Conservative MEPs and one other voted against the amendment to require labelling of food from animals fed on GM feed. Another two of my MEPs abstained from voting on this issue and only my Labour MEP voted in favour of it. The record also shows that this amendment failed to pass.
As an organic food supporter for over 30 years, I believe that all GM is, to use your word, ‘bad’. I cannot see any ‘good’ in growing GM crops willy nilly in the open that will end up polluting and contaminating my organic food sources, which are primarily from England. Naturally, the controversy is much wider than this and I would again strongly recommend the book, The World According to Monsanto, by Marie-Monique Robin to get a global view of the many negative aspects of GMO crops (or just watch the documentary for free: The World According to Monsanto).
I look forward to hearing from you with an explanation about the said vote. I would also be grateful to hear that you have considered and reflected upon evidence contrary to your pro-GM view to show that you are making open-minded and informed choices on the matter.