ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

Date:  06 March 2001


South Norfolk District Council have organised a GM debate.

This Wednesday (7th March) at Easton college 7:30pm: open public meeting.

Speakers: Sue Mayer and Dr David Goodman

Prof Baulcombe (John Innes Centre) and Steve Smith (Novatis)

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Subj:  PRESS RELEASE - Lincs council opposes new GM trials
Date:  05/03/01 22:16:09 GMT Standard Time
From:  Kate@gaia

The Gaia Trust  working towards a healthy and sustainable world through education,
encouragement and example tel/fax 01507 490112

PRESS RELEASE - WLDC opposes GM trials

Pasted below is a copy of a question put to West Lindsey District Council tonight - Mon 5th March.  Cllr Fenwicks contact details are 01673 843601 mobile 07714801345

I hope that you will give this farsighted council your full support in this matter


"Mr Chairman - All of us here tonight will be aware that Lincolnshire, and more especially
West Lindsey, is being targeted with more GM Crop trials than anywhere else in Great Britain. Last week the government announced another 12 trials for this County, 4 of those are with-in this District. As if that wasn't bad enough, more are to be announced later this month. This is in addition to a  currently unknown amount of research and development trials for GM Crops
- now being grown within this District.

This Council has gone to great lengths to inform the Government that we do not support these trials, starting off with my Motion of protestation in August 1999 and consistently receiving cross party, unanimous support ever  since. Apart from the risks to both human and animal health, and the  environment as a whole, it is now becoming clear that the planting of these crops could economically damage our farming industry, and therefore our  community.

DETR have already stated that these experimental crops will get into the  food chain - even though they are unapproved for human or animal food. The  Government has admitted that no adequate provision has been made to ensure  that neighbouring crops, either conventional or organic, are not cross pollinated or contaminated with GM material. British Sugar has a policy that rejects GM Crops, so why are the Government insisting on Sugar Beet trials!? It just doesn't make sense.

I am sure that we are all agreed, that as Members of the District Council, it is our duty to represent the views of the majority of the public, and that the majority of people living in West Lindsey have made it increasingly clear that they are utterly opposed to these trials and the risk they pose to
our community.

We are all aware of the latest crisis to hit our farmers - foot and mouth disease - and that farms and the countryside itself, has been virtually closed down in an attempt to prevent this disease from spreading. Yet the Government have decided that these trials must still be planted. This means
that the seed will be transported and delivered to dozens of farms across the country. The labourers, scientists and researchers will be moving around these farms to monitor and oversee the planting and growth of these crops.

Not only that but incredibly, some of the selected farms are within the exclusion zones!! This is an utterly untenable, ludicrous and outright despicable act. Up until now this District has remained disease free - but  for how long given this gross capitulation to those who stand to make
the  most from this technology.

It is my understanding that Michael Meacher recently commented, "Public consent was very important and that it must always be taken into account when  considering where these crops should be planted".

This council has already sent letters to various Government departments asking for a moratorium on these trials and an engagement with the planning  processes. The replies to these letters have been unsatisfactory.

I therefore ask Mr Chairman, that at tonight's Full Council meeting, can we  decide, as a matter of utmost urgency, to endeavour to arrange a delegation to meet with Mr Meacher, to discuss our concerns and to ensure that local  democracy is immediately applied to the planting of these GM Crops?

Councillor Gary Fenwick

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