ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

Date:  12 March 2001


PRESS RELEASE 10th March 2000 - The Gaia Trust


British farmers betrayed by the NFU

In light of the statement in the  National  Farmers  Union  (NFU) insurance  policy  document  (see  below)  and  their  refusal to indemnify farmers against any GM damage or  liability  -  however caused  -  the NFU itself must immediately stop its encouragement and promotion of GM technology  and  take  immediate  and  direct steps to protect its members from any such GM risk.

NFU insurance,  has,  by way of its policy,  indicated that there are very real and immediate risks from GM  technology.   If  they believed  that  this technology was safe and risk free they would
be happy to insure against it -  for a  premium.   NFU  will  not indemnify -  for any amount of premium.  The only reason for this is that they would expect to lose a lot of money -  and  as  this
policy comes into force immediately then they obviously see those problems emerging in the immediate future.

As  if  our farming industry did not already have enough problems they now have  to  face  a  very  uncertain  future  of  new  and previously  unknown  problems  arising  from a technology that is
inadequately  tested  and  regulated,   totally  unnecessary  and unwanted  by  its  customers,  with  no  recourse  to  either the government, the biotech companies, their own trade union or their
insurance brokers.  These are problems which the farmers have  no control  over,  which  are  caused  by  foreign  corporations and government mismanagement,  and by a handful of farmers who  being well  paid  to  host  experimental field trials regardless of the damage they cause to their neighbours farms and livelihoods.

Our farming industry is on its knees and the NFU itself has  just about  delivered  the  final  blow  -  to  its  own  members.  By condoning this technology and then refusing to indemnify  against
problems arising from it, the NFU has betrayed its members.  This is treachery and utter betrayal.

We  now  call upon the NFU to take immediate and direct action to ensure  that  all  outdoor  testing  of  GM  crops   is   stopped immediately, that any GM crops that are already in the ground are immediately  destroyed  -  and  that  a moratorium is immediately applied until the safety of these crops is so  assured  that  the NFU insurance will indemnify its members.

Our farmers deserve this much -  at least -  from a union that is supposed to represent and protect the interests of its members.

Kate O'Connell
The Gaia Trust
Tel/fax : 01507  490112
Email :


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